Crisis Communication in Canada

Crisis Communication in Canada

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Duncan Koerber
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2017
288 Pages
ISBN 9781442609228
Available Sep 2017
ISBN 9781442609235
Available Sep 2017

Crisis Communication in Canada is the first Canadian content textbook on this important topic. Private companies that respond poorly to a crisis may go bankrupt, wiping out investments and jobs. Charities that respond poorly to a crisis may lose donations, ending support for the most vulnerable. Professional athletes, religious leaders, CEOs, and politicians who respond poorly to a crisis may lose their long-standing careers and the respect of their colleagues, supporters, fans, and customers. This book offers practical help for organizations and professionals to deal effectively with crises.

Crisis communication and damage control lessons have typically been the purview of public relations professionals who have learned from experience. However, since the 1990s there has been a growing body of scholarly research on the topic. Scholars study real-life cases or run experiments, testing common PR wisdom. Crisis Communication in Canada offers a unique scholarly and professional contribution, synthesizing recent research and providing a context for practical advice. Written in a clear and concise style directed at beginners, but rooted in research, this book will offer instructors and students a unique resource.

Duncan Koerber has taught media studies, communication theory, and writing at a number of universities in the Toronto area. He has published on the topics of media and journalism history, writing studies, and crisis communication in a number of journals including the Canadian Journal of Communication, Public Relations Review, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Journalism History, and the Canadian Journal of Media Studies.

The Approach
Crisis Communication as a Field of Study
The Canadian Perspective
1. Defining the Field
Crisis Definitions
The Problem of Crisis Definitions
Stages of Crisis
What's a Stakeholder?
Levels of Crisis: Individuals and Organizational
What is the Role of Ethics in Crisis Communication?
Ethical Theory
The Importance of Trust

2. Crisis and Communities
An Alternative Definition
Discourse and Crisis Communication
Community and Crisis Communication
Political Communities
Organized Sports Communities
Entertainment Communities

3. The Role of the Media
Mediated Society
Crisis and News Values
Effects of Agenda Setting on Crisis
Media Framing and Effects on Crisis
Ritual and Crisis
Crisis, Mass Media, and Social Media

4. Prevention
Preventative Planning and Building Positive Relationships
Crisis Prevention through Positive Organizational Cultures and Values
Reputations, Images, and Crisis Damage Prevention
Crisis Damage Limitation through Branding
Case: Animal Cruelty Allegations at Marineland
Case: Safety on a University Campus

5.Are Some Crises Unexpected?
Crisis Prevention through Effective Issues Management
Limiting the Impact of a Crisis by Developing Buffers
Crisis Management Plans to Deal with a Crisis if it Occurs
Assessing the Threat
Crisis Leadership and Spokespersons
Case: Royal Bank of Canada Sparks Foreign Worker Crisis
Case: Federal MP Uses Military Helicopter for Personal Trip

6. Business, Politics, Healthcare/ Science Crises
Business Crises
Political Crises
Healthcare and Science Crises
Case: Attacking the Customer over a Product Failure
Case: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the Crack Cocaine Video

7. Sports, Entertainment, Social Media Crises
Sports Crises
Entertainment Crises
Social Media Crises
Case: A Baseball Player Uses a Homophobic Slur
Case: Radio Host Fired After Comments

8. Four Tenets of Response
Regular Communication
Responding Quickly
Consistency and Coherence
Case: The BlackBerry Phone Outage of 2011
Case: A Listeria Outbreak at Maple Leaf Foods

9. Response Theory and Strategy
Introduction to Response Theory and Strategy
Situational Crisis Communication Theory
Image Repair Theory
Apology—The King of Strategies?
Apology—Legal and Political Concerns
Combining Strategies
Quantification of Strategy Effectiveness
Case: Air Canada Breaks a Child's Wheelchair, Twitter Explodes
Case: City of Hamilton Public Relations Initiative Fails

10. Response Considerations
Communicating with the Mass Media
Channels—Old and New Media
Social Media Response Factors
Narrative and Storytelling
Getting Ahead and Attempting to Control the Narrative 
Dealing with Emotions
Direct Political Communication
Case: The Public Fall of Jian Ghomeshi
Case: Crib Recall after Child Deaths

11.: Evaluation and Application
The End is Nigh—Maybe
Renewal and Healing Theory
Legitimacy Regained
Objective Measurements
Channels and Spokesperson Review and Assessment
Issues Management Redux
Structural Change
Inquiries and Investigations
Rebuilding Image and Goodwill
Final Words

Duncan Koerber offers a primer in crisis communication targeted for the Canadian audience that is rich in both theory and practice. Koerber rightly dissects and analyses the history of crisis communication research, aptly picking out the highlights. In addition to skillfully synthesizing the literature, he advances crisis communication theory by reconceptualising crisis communication as rooted in the discourse of communities. Woven into his discussion of theory, are solid Canadian examples that professors, practitioners, and students can examine. Koerber’s background in journalism shines through as he discusses the role of media in a crisis, giving readers a fresh look behind veil. In his discussion of media, he dedicates ample time to the influence of social media in not only being an agent of message transmission, but in the social media’s own role in the creation and amplification of crisis. This textbook is a welcome addition to the growing literature of communication in the Canadian context.

Sandra Braun, Mount Royal University