Toward a New Model of Public Relations Crisis and Risk Communication Following Pandemics

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Contribution to a Book

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Communicating Science in Times of Crisis: The COVID-19 Pandemic



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This chapter examines how the COVID-19 pandemic started much like other crises, especially those of a medical nature. It also examines how that pandemic crisis morphed from a “natural cause” through miscues and missed opportunities to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities that allowed what was a medical crisis to morph into a socio-political, economic, and cultural crisis. The chapter provides a non-linear model of crisis communication management and focuses on the impact of the social media in altering, advancing, and modifying the crisis over time. Several factors constrain the effectiveness of risk communication efforts. The B.A.S.I.C. model can be applied to both non-crisis-related public relations/communication management programs and those related to crisis communication management. Research studies have demonstrated that the essential role of social media in crisis management with a large number of users and real-time use.


Journalism and Mass Communications