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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 9. Putting the CCC Plan into Action


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Chapter Highlights

This chapter provides a blueprint that local CCCs can use to create their own crisis communication plans. This framework assists the CCC and its partners in utilizing the appropriate community sectors during any time of crisis. This chapter largely focuses on what the CCC can do to encourage, educate about, and facilitate effective communication regarding crisis management policies and procedures, but the main objective is to introduce tools, protocols, and templates that the CCC can provide for agencies and organizations as they develop their own individualized crisis plans. Furthermore, the notion of anticipation is reviewed and applied to common crisis situations that many CCCs might face. ← 227 | 228 →

This chapter is organized into three sections. The first section provides a rationale and guidelines for formulating the mission and vision statements for the CCC. The second section outlines the components of a CCC’s plan of operations. This section does not advocate for one plan executed across all contexts. Rather, each CCC should be able to add to the plan and to adjust it to fit the needs of their particular community and adjust it according to the nature of the crises that pose the greatest threat. The third section deals specifically with the communication-based planning and procedural assistance that the CCC can provide for community agencies and organizational partners. The chapter also outlines a risk and crisis management planning process...

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