Crisis Communication

The International Encyclopedia of Health Communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Abstract: This entry provides an overview of public health crises and public health crisis communication, grounded in crisis communication and literature around emerging infectious disease outbreaks (IDOs). It lays down the theoretical foundations for communication and crisis information management in times of public health risks and emergencies, heralded by two conceptual frameworks developed specifically to tackle IDOs and applicable to other health crises: Vijaykumar et al.’s risk amplification through media spread (RAMS) framework and Jin et al.’s infectious disease threat (IDT) appraisal model. It outlines key crisis communicative behaviors of individuals, including crisis information seeking and sharing (CISS) and crisis information vetting, summarizing empirical evidences in the context of IDOs. The rise of online misinformation as a critical concern in the communication management of IDOs and emerging interventions to combat this threat are further examined. Unique challenges and opportunities embedded in public health crisis communication (e.g., overcoming unintended effects of public health crisis communication) are identified for future research.

Yan Jin 

Related Research


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Abstract: This paper combines theories of identification and image repair to explain why an organization in crisis should avoid designing messages that engage in “spin.” An experiment is reported (N = 262 nationwide U.S. Qualtrics Panel) in which a company spokesperson replies to questions from a journalist in a news interview. Results indicate that people (a) […]

David Clementson
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Abstract:  Perceptions of a crisis communicator’s sincerity drive reactions to an organization’s response amidst a scandal. However, a spokesperson can nonverbally appear sincere while deceptively evading questions and can appear insincere while actually speaking sincere truths. Applying truth-default theory to crisis communication, we assess people’s reactions to a spokesperson varying in sincerity through demeanor and […]

David Clementson
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