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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 10. Implications for Practitioners and Community Sectors


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Chapter Highlights

The purpose of this chapter is to provide guidelines for sectors, liaisons, and spokespersons who partner with the CCC. Common sectors, such as public relations, medicine and healthcare, police and fire, city council, commerce and retail, and education, all have their unique needs when it comes to preparing for, and minimizing the effects of, crises. Additionally, these sectors and the organizations and businesses contained within them need to operate together in such a way as to centralize their communication network.

This chapter addresses the practical implications of the CCC as they apply to three major phases—pre-crisis, during the crisis, and post-crisis. Although this book has emphasized the importance of anticipatory crisis management, the CCC, in cooperation with various community sectors, can take practical steps during all three phases to engage in forecasting events ← 255 | 256 → and in implementing effective crisis communication. Discussed in each of these phases are the unique needs of prevalent community sectors and the roles their spokespersons and liaisons (representatives) play in all three crisis phases. Also, guidelines will be offered to assist in the creation of specific crisis plans that can be utilized in partnership with the local CCC. To this end, the CCC network of personnel outlined in Chapter 9 will be reviewed and its functions will be outlined. In this chapter, the CCC network refers to CCC internal staff, CCC liaisons, sector...

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