CCTT annual gathering uncovers the “Keystone” of a New Crisis Management Architecture

CCTT annual gathering uncovers the “Keystone” of a New Crisis Management Architecture

April 19, 2023

The fifth annual Crisis Communication Think Tank gathering took place on Thursday, April 13 in the Peyton Anderson Forum at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. Crisis communication scholars and practitioners came together to share insights and predictions for the future of the industry amidst ever-evolving technologies in a post-pandemic world.

Technological disruption and advancement – along with the realities constructed via AI, VR and the metaverse – have increased the urgency for an updated understanding of crisis management.

Taking inspiration from architecture fundamentals, the CCTT planning team termed this a search for the “keystone” of crisis management. Signifying the core component(s) that maintains a system or structure, the “Keystone” theme of the think tank gathering guided attendees on the search for a new keystone for managing sticky crises. The theme consisted of collaborative discussions divided into six parts.

Members of the Crisis Communication Think Tank.
Members of the fifth annual Crisis Communication Think Tank.

The sessions consisted of topics ranging from “Laying the Foundation” to “Contending with the Intangible.” Discussions included finding cracks in the foundation of crisis communication and how professionals can learn to navigate reframing crisis messaging effectively and ethically. Speaker Dr. Janice Hume noted the importance of maintaining certain foundations of crisis communication while other aspects evolve; she highlighted this, telling members “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Armed with an updated manual and renovated tools, attendees left the think tank event better prepared to tackle complex and challenging crisis issues.

“How refreshing it was to be part of a gathering that seeks to integrate the perspectives of researchers and practitioners,” said Lucas Bernays Held, The Wallace Foundation Director of Communications. “Research conferences are often absent practitioner voices…The Crisis Communications Think Tank offers a ‘third way’ that is more satisfying and models the productive interaction between social science research and communications practice.”

“What a day to innovate and create together. We look forward to developing “keystone” discussion based insights and outputs to share with practitioners and scholars,” said Yan Jin, CCTT Director and the C. Richard Yarbrough Professor in Crisis Communication Leadership. “We now have a new blueprint for crisis ‘readiness’, integrating crisis and risk elementals, built on research insights and analytics, and designed to support crisis preparedness and resilience. With shared vision and gumption, we look forward to building up the new crisis management architecture together.”

For information on CCTT please visit the CCTT webpage.

About CCTT: 

The Crisis Communication Think Tank (CCTT) was established in 2018 at the University of Georgia (UGA) as a thought leadership entity. It is designed to further discussions and understanding of crisis communication and strategic conflict management, with an emphasis on evolving technologies. Housed at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the CCTT aims to build collaborations among leading crisis scholars and practitioners globally. Connect with CCTT on LinkedIn or Instagram.