Global Experts Discuss COVID-19: Learning & Consequences for Crisis Communication Research, Practice

ECREA Crisis Communication Section, Leeds Beckett University Host Global Crisis2021 Public Event Series

(Leeds, United Kingdom, February 5): On 5 February, 2021 four global experts in crisis communication and a live audience of practitioners and academics from countries around the world reflected on the lessons learned in crisis communication based on the last year of COVID-19 crisis and the importance of the convergence of research and practice. All speakers highlighted shared critical challenges of communicating during the COVID-19 as including managing ‘fake news’, inequalities in the effects of the pandemic, global disruption and the challenges of recovery from the pandemic, and how we can use strategic communication to serve the public good.

Watch the presentations here

Both International Public Relations Association (IPRA) President, Philippe Borremans (Portugal) and Professor Yan Jin, University of Georgia (USA) reflected on crisis learning and pandemic communication management highlighting the value of such collaborations. Borremans points out that the critical goal of emergency communication is to empower community and individuals to make decisions to protect themselves. Jin provided examples of research collaborations and findings in applied settings.

Dean and Professor Matthew Seeger, Wayne State University (USA) focused on the role of crisis communication in managing uncertainty to help communities to interpret information and risk surrounding COVID-19. Both Seeger and Dr. Andreas Schwarz, Ilmenau University of Technology (Germany) highlighted the pandemic’s disruption of higher education. Schwarz focused on developing a stronger understanding about message creation from the organisational perspective and improving communication recommendations for university educators.

This live panel and discussion was the kick-off event for the European Communication Research and Education Association’s (ECREA) Crisis Communication section Crisis2021 monthly series of live panels bringing together global experts in crisis communication to present research, discuss critical themes, and identify opportunities for developing knowledge and practice. The series is hosted by Leeds Beckett University’s Business School, coordinated by Dr. Audra Diers-Lawson, a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett, the Crisis Communication section Chair, and editor of the Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research. The series is also endorsed by the IPRA.

Diers-Lawson said, “We have an active and engaged international crisis and risk communication community, so the leadership team for the [ECREA Crisis Communication] division wanted to make sure we had a way to stay engaged with each other and sharing our experience, research, and practice through this pandemic.” Diers-Lawson is joined in section leadership by Dr. Florian Meissner of Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Germany and Dr. Silvia Ravazzani of IULM in Milan, Italy. For more information, to view the recordings after the events, or to register to attend the Crisis2021 Series go to: https://ecreacrisis.com/call-for-participation-crisis2021/

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