The Crisis Communication Think Tank brought industry professionals and academic scholars together for a collaborative discussion.

Dr. Yan Jin

Dr. Yan Jin is a professor of public relations and the C. Richard Yarbrough Professor in Crisis Communication Leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia (UGA). She is co-founder and director of the Crisis Communication Think Tank and associate director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at UGA. She has authored more than 100 journal articles and over 30 book chapters, as well as edited scholarly books including Advancing Crisis Communication Effectiveness: Integrating Public Relations Scholarship with Practice and Social Media and Crisis Communication. She received the Association for Business Communication’s 2019 Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Dr. Jin’s work serves as a framework for crisis and risk communication in a rapidly evolving media landscape and amidst emotionally charged conflict situations, ranging from organizational crises to disasters and public health emergencies. Strategic communicators facing high-stake threats have an increasing need for evidence-based guidelines for crisis and risk information dissemination to address affected communities’ informational and emotional needs, to ensure safety and welfare of publics and organizations, and ultimately to build community resilience and aid crisis recovery. Dr. Jin’s research program in crisis communication, conflict management, and health risk communication contribute to the advancement of strategic communication theory and provide insights for public relations practice.


C. Richard "Dick" Yarbrough

C. Richard “Dick” Yarbrough has enjoyed a distinguished career in public relations. Following his retirement from BellSouth Corporation in 1993, he joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as managing director. Yarbrough is the author of the 2002 memoir, “And They Call Them Games,” which provides an insider’s view of the 1996 Games. For more than two decades, he has written a syndicated newspaper column reaching 600,000 households and more than 1.3 million readers each week.

His honors are many: University of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication Fellow, one of PRWeek’s 100 most influential PR practitioners of the 20th century, one of Georgia’s 100 most powerful and influential people, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America Georgia Chapter Hall of Fame. He also is past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association.

Yarbrough makes his home in Atlanta. His continued generosity enables the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to fund numerous student internships each semester.


Dick Yarbrough (ABJ '59) became an industry expert on crisis communication throughout his illustrious career.