Crisis 5 meets Lisbon: The International Crisis Communication Conference
I claim that one of the main motivations to go into research is “making a difference”. In case of Crisis Communication research this “difference” is bridging theories and empirical knowledge into practice. “Crisis Communication needs to go back to practice”, can be heard from almost everywhere. However, not only businesses shall profit from effective crisis communication strategies but also NGOs and communities while battling natural disasters and terrorism.
A big task for a still young and rather small research field. More conceptual research is needed, theories have to be adapted to the changing environment and case studies should not solely describe rare events such as a nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima (2011). “We have to focus more on mundane crises – frequent and harmful at the same time”, keynote speaker W. Timothy Coombs adds.
Most participants of the conference have known each other for years and institutionalized the field together. Nowadays, the field has its own ECREA thematic section chaired by Andreas Schwarz (TU Ilmenau). But still, scholars try to reflect on the past and take not everything for granted. Still important: bridging the scholar-pracitioner gap.This year, some practitioners mingled with scholars of the field.
How does the Swedish police use Social Media during terrorist attacks or how do clients steal the thunder before the media does? Conversations did not ran try.
Especially enthusiastic speakers such as Professor Deanna Sellnow (Nicholson School of Communication, University of Central Florida) tried to put emphasis on risk communication. Although no immediate threat is present, initiatives such as the 72-hour risk communication campaign in Sweden show the usability of this approach and also stress the importance of comparative research (here: Sweden and US).
Besides the panels, the supporting program was convincing and well organized: providing a platform for Ph.D. students to present their research process and get feedback by Andreas Schwarz and W. Timothy Coombs as well as a debate about future research and career strategies. Lunch and coffee for well deserved breaks between panels rounded everything up.
After three days of catastrophes, accidents, management misbehaviour (puh!) and luckily some really engaged hosts and interesting speakers – the research field positioned itself and made plans for the future: looking forward to ECREA 2018 in Lugano and Crisis 6 at Leeds Beckett University.
Janina Schier: Crisis 5 meets Lisbon: The International Crisis Communication Conference. In: Michael Meyen (Hrsg.): Medienrealität 2017. https://medienblog.hypotheses.org/659 (Datum des Zugriffs)