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Handbook for the Crisis Communication Center

Bolanle A. Olaniran and Juliann C. Scholl

Crisis communication plays an important role in maintaining a community’s safety and security. While governments devote significant attention to national crises, anticipation and preparation specific to local communities is imperative and can assist media outlets, elected officials, and message designers in successfully reaching their intended target audiences. However, local leaders might not possess the communication skills and knowledge needed to prepare a local community for potential crises. Therefore, there is a need for communities to have support systems in place to help them respond and communicate appropriately.

This volume provides a comprehensive resource that provides the knowledge and guidelines that can be used for localized crisis preparation. Focusing on crisis preparedness/readiness, it discusses and extends the anticipatory model of crisis management (AMCM) in the establishment of crisis communication centers (CCCs) within local communities and municipalities across the U.S. The authors advocate for communities to create CCCs that would be comprised of municipal and community members who can fulfill specific functions on a team tasked with preparing for crisis, as well as responding to a crisis aftermath.

Directions for  future research such as the comparison of specific crisis prevention strategies across similar local communities, and developing new and innovative ways to collect and warehouse large amounts of crisis data, is provided.

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Chapter 5. Research Implications for CCCs


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Chapter Highlights

Establishing crisis communication centers in communities is a prudent step in being crisis-ready. However, the justification and commitment for such a center is often difficult to find, especially when dealing with limited and scarce resources. Notwithstanding, the ideas and principles of anticipatory models of crisis management (AMCM) suggest that the price of not planning for crises and disasters is often greater than the amount of resources it will take to put in place adequate planning. Hence, this chapter attempts to provide a further justification for establishing a CCC, but, more importantly, it looks at the research implications of establishing such a center.

A community contemplating the establishment of a CCC must first identify and address what constitutes a crisis and what doesn’t. The community of scholars and researchers can help in this area by the nature of the crisis they choose to study or to pay attention to. At the same time, it needs to be ← 113 | 114 → said that certain issues facing traditional and for-profit organizations do not necessarily apply to CCCs, because the aim is not so much focused on image reparation per se, but on addressing human issues or restoring a community to normal activity and engagement.

From this standpoint, the use of the terms crisis, disaster, and emergency independently or interchangeably in the literature, muddles how we view crises and what needs to be done...

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