Event Announcement: 5 March Scandinavian Pandemic Response

Perspectives on Crisis Communication During the Pandemic in Nordic Countries

On 5 March, 2021 from 4-6pm (CET) the ECREA Crisis Communication Section will host the second in our Crisis2021 series focusing on a panel discussion of distinguished scholars from across Scandinavia exploring the comparisons and comparative outcomes from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

The Nordic countries are in many ways similar in terms of political and media system. Nevertheless, they have chosen different strategies in managing the corona virus pandemic. Denmark, Norway and Finland followed many other countries in “shutting down” the society, combined with widespread testing and tracing infection contacts. Sweden chose a somewhat different strategy in rejecting lockdown and focus in “flattening the curve” and in comparison to other countries had the restrictive measures a light touch and relied on citizens voluntary adapting regulations about social distancing and other measures. Crisis communication was also organized differently, not at least in that politicians played a more prominent role in communicating the crisis in Denmark, Finland and Norway. A year after the pandemic started we see very different outcomes, not at least in that Sweden has a much higher death toll compared to the other Nordic countries. The panel will discuss similarities and differences in crisis communication in terms of the crisis management perspective, media frames, and citizens’ response.

Here is more detailed information about the session and speakers and to register to attend the event.


Event Announcement: 5 February – Covid-19 Learning & Consequences Live Panel

On behalf of the ECREA Crisis Communication Section and endorsed by the International Public Relations Association, we are pleased to announce that on February 5, 2021 (Friday) from 4-6pm CET (10am-12pm EST) we will host our first live panel of our Crisis2021 series – Covid-19: Learning and Consequences for International Crisis Communication Research and Practice. The event is free to attend, all are welcome, but advance registration is required.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a disruptive and tragic experience for societies around the world. For the crisis communication community, the pandemic doubtlessly is an issue of overwhelming importance, calling for academic and professional exchange and new research initiatives that reach beyond national borders. In order to create an opportunity to come together at this important point in the ongoing crisis, we would like to invite you to an online session involving keynotes and discussions on the following questions:

  1. What have we learned from our observations of crisis communication during the pandemic by governments, organizations, health experts, media, and stakeholders around the world?
  2. What are the consequences crisis researchers and practitioners need to draw from this pandemic? What is—or should be—on the research agenda for the next years?

These overarching questions will be addressed by four keynotes:

  • Philippe Borremans, Emergency Risk and Crisis Communication Consultant, President-elect of IPRA: “Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication – the need for an integrated approach”
  • Yan Jin, Professor, University of Georgia: “Gaining Insights from a Multi-methodological Approach to Crisis Learning and Pandemic Communication Management”
  • Matthew W. Seeger, Professor, Dean of the College of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts, Wayne State University: “Communicating Death and Dying During Crises:  Uncertainty, Equivocality and Strategic Ambiguity”
  • Andreas Schwarz, Chair of the Department of Public Relations & Communication of Technology, llmenau University of Technology: “Internal Risk and Crisis Communication on the COVID-19 pandemic: Global experiences of higher education institutions”

Click here for a more detailed summary of each of the presentations.

The series includes online sessions every first or second Friday from February through July. The first session will be chaired by Dr. Florian Meissner, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences. All keynotes will be followed by an open discussion with the audience.

Please find updates on the panel and on the Crisis2021 virtual series on our website: https://ecreacrisis.com/virtual-event-dates-and-themes/

Of course, this panel can only be a starting point for discussion of the short- and long-term implications the current crisis has for our field of research. We would therefore like to point out that the further online sessions within our virtual series, too, can be used to present thematically related research—while also being open for other research topics. Our Crisis2021 series is virtually hosted and coordinated by Leeds Beckett University in the UK. Submissions for our full live and pre-recorded series are open with priority for live sessions going to those presentations and/or panels submitted before 15 January, 2021. See our call for abstracts for more information.


PhD Workshop – Call for Abstracts

As part of our online activities throughout the first half of 2021, we would like to invite all young scholars to apply for our YECREA PhD Workshop jointly held by ECREA’s Crisis Communication Section and the Young Scholars Network (YECREA). The participation in the workshop is free of charge.

Deadline for Submission – 15 February, 2021

The aim of the workshop is to provide an online forum with individual feedback by senior scholars for doctoral students whose Ph.D. and research interest is related to the wide and interdisciplinary field of Risk and Crisis Communication.

The PhD Workshop will take place in May 2021. The exact date and time depend on the countries of origin/time zones of the individual participants. Further information on the date as well as on the respondents (senior scholars) will be announced later in time.

To apply for the workshop, please prepare and submit the following two documents:

  • an extended abstract of up to 500 words outlining your project (literature excluded): Please think of key elements such as your research problem, theoretical foundation , research question(s), methodology and (preliminary) findings
  • a short letter of motivation stating why you would like to participate and which questions you want to see addressed; it should also mention your doctoral advisor as well as a rough time schedule for your project.

The documents must be submitted to Janina Klingelhöfer (janina.klingelhoefer@ifkw.lmu.de) until February 15, 2021. Please to not hesitate to ask questions beforehand.

A jury will select the applications according to standards of academic quality like theoretical foundation, stringency and originality. You will receive their decision by mid-March 2021. There is no need to be a member of the Crisis Communication Section to apply, but please note that the capacity of the workshop is limited.


Whistleblowing: an international perspective

An open event promoted by Università IULM, the Geert Hofstede Consortium and Transparency International Italy on November 19th, 2020.

Università IULM’s International Affairs office, the Centre for Employee Relations and Communication (CERC) at Università IULM, the Geert Hofstede Consortium, and Transparency International Italy present the online open event “Whistleblowing: an international perspective”. The online event will take place on November 19th, 15.00-16.30 CET via Microsoft Teams, and will be targeted at both bachelor and master degree students and at professionals.

Corporate wrongdoing is a major issue today in all kind of organizations and whistleblowing arrangements can be an effective strategy to prevent it when they are adopted with the aim of favouring employee voice, including dissent.

The Centre for Employee Relations and Communication (CERC) at Università IULM has conducted some studies that indicate that Italian companies are still little aware of the importance of formal systems to boost employee voice and in particular of whistleblowing systems, adopted in most cases with a mere focus on law compliance.

To overcome this gap of awareness, Università IULM, the Geert Hofstede Consortium and Transparency International Italy are promoting a series of public lessons and events to sustain a public debate around these topics and thus a cultural development in this field in Italy.

The online public event “Whistleblowing: an international perspective” will host a debate with the contributions of:

  • Audra Diers-Lawson, Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Relations and Journalism at Leeds Beckett University, who recently contributed to the book “Whistleblowing, Communication and Consequences. Lessons from The Norwegian National Lottery” edited by Peer Jacob Svenkerud, Jan-Oddvar Sørnes and Larry Browning
  • Giorgio Fraschini, expert of whistleblowing at Transparency International Italy
  • Alessandra Mazzei, Associate Professor of Corporate Communication at Università IULM and Director at CERC
  • Silvia Ravazzani, Associate Professor of Corporate Communication at Università IULM

The event will be held in English and is part of the Corporate Communication course held by Professor Silvia Ravazzani at the Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communication and Public Relations and of the Brand and Corporate Communication course held by Professor Alessandra Mazzei at the Master’s Degree in Marketing, Consumption and Communication at Università IULM.

All students are invited.

People interested to attend the online open event can fill the form at the following link to register. Following the registration, they will receive the link to connect to the online event via Microsoft Teams.


National Approaches to Systemic Risk: Germany and Japan under the COVID-19 Crisis

The Tokyo-based German Institute for Japanese Studies has announced an event that may be interesting for crisis researchers interested in the current pandemic and/or cross-cultural research. The speakers are Ortwin Renn and Norio Okada, both highly renowned specialists in risk & crisis management in the respective countries. The event will be streamed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdGa3jF7et0

Further details: https://www.dijtokyo.org/event/national-approaches-to-systemic-riskgermany-and-japan-under-the-covid-19-crisis/


Media reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic

Journalists covering the coronavirus pandemic face the classic dilemma of crisis reporting: contributing to mitigation while maintaining their watchdog function.

How do media outlets cover the current pandemic? What are the normative requirements journalists should consider? And how serious is the “infodemic” threat posed by mis- and disinfo on the coronavirus? These are just some of the questions that are being raised in the context of crisis communication surrounding the current pandemic. This short article (German) published in the European Journalism Observatory contributes some observations and thoughts on the matter and discusses the normative concept of a “mitigation watchdog” in the light of the current crisis reporting. A more detailed version of the article in German language is available here.


Call for Papers: Special Issue on COVID-19

Examining risk communication, crisis management, as well as the implications of the decisions made, and actions taken to combat a global pandemic.

Guest Editor – Professor Yan Jin

Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; Professor, Department of Advertising and Public Relations; Associate Director, Center for Health & Risk Communication, University of Georgia, United States.

Objectives and Scope of the Special Issue:

On January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) a “public health emergency of international concern). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include MERS and SARS and it is believed it was initially spread from animals to humans with the epicentre in Wuhan, China. It has subsequently spread throughout Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, and several countries in Africa. In response to the pandemic, public health officials and governments worldwide have taken steps to mitigate the spread of infection with seemingly extreme recommendations, requirements, and restrictions. Organizations have also taken steps to respond by developing guidance for international travel for employees, recommendations for working at home, and cancelling major events. Finally, people have also reacted as sales of hygiene products have skyrocketed creating shortages in products like masks, hand sanitizer, and even toilet paper.

Broadly, our aim in this issue is to use crisis and risk communication knowledge, experience, and research to shed light on a crisis that has received significant heat in the last few months. As such there are broad three objectives in this issue:

  1. Deconstruct the COVID-19 crisis in a meaningful way to better understand lessons for future pandemic crisis planning, and actions.
  2. Analyze the existing and emergent risks associated with COVID-19, organizational or institutional reactions to it, and public self-protection actions taken (or not).
  3. Evaluate the (de)escalating factors affecting the pandemic and its outcome(s) in order to build strategic recommendations for future pandemics and public health crises.
  4. Advance crisis and risk communication theory via conceptual and methodological innovation that provides evidence-based insights for COVID-19 and future public health crisis prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Examples of topics suitable to this issue could include:

  • Critical examinations of government policy, decision-making, & the communication of those decisions
  • Evaluations of reactions to the pandemic in/across different sectors (e.g., public sector, private sector, NGOs, etc.)
  • Cross-cultural explorations reactions and factors driving reactions to the pandemic
  • Risk analyses of the short, medium, and long-term implications of the pandemic
  • Specific analyses of messages to manage risk perception
  • Online and offline conversations about the disease, risk perception, and risk management
  • Outcome risk assessment (e.g., what could happen as a result of the crisis)
  • Information & communication expectations and challenges (e.g., misinformation and disinformation) during the pandemic
  • Socially responsible behavior and ethical considerations in the wake of a global pandemic

This is not an exhaustive list, but successful papers will meaningfully build their rationale around at least one of the three objectives identified in this call. All methodologies, ontological perspectives, and theoretical approaches are acceptable.

Submissions

Submissions to this special issue should follow the process outlined on: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/submit.cgi?context=jicrcr and authors can find more information about the journal’s guidance for authors at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/jicrcr/styleguide.html.

Submission deadline: December 4, 2020

About the Journal

The Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research (JICRCR) is the first scholarly journal dedicated to human and mediated communication issues associated with crises, risks, and emergencies around the world. JICRCR publishes original theoretical and scientific articles and brief reports that stimulate debate and contribute to the knowledge of crisis and risk communication. JICRCR intends to be the premier outlet for authors to submit crisis and risk communication research. The Journal is supported by an international editorial board comprised of top risk and crisis communication scholars. The journal publishes articles in a print version and open access online, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or institution. Users are allowed to read, download, print, or link to the full texts of the articles, without asking prior permission from JICRCR. For more information about the journal visit: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/jicrcr/about.html


Developing a global virtual risk & crisis community

A collaborative, open resource for risk & crisis communication

We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when creating them.

— Albert Einsten.

We are certainly living through an interesting and very challenging moment in history. Risk and crisis communication scholars and practitioners have an opportunity to share the best practices, latest research, best approaches to mitigating risk, as well as our work and engagement.

The plans for this site as well as the risk and crisis community have been in process for months, yet as they have come together now, we also have an opportunity to critically reflect on ongoing health crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, recent (and future) economic crises, and all of the factors that connect to what serves mutual interests in our communities, institutions, and businesses.

As the current chair for ECREA’s Crisis Communication division, my invitation for the community is to share our work, our experiences, our thoughts, and research. If you would like to be a contributor, contact me directly at audra.lawson@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Contributor Guidelines

For anyone interested in contributing, here are the guidelines for posts:

  1. Text-based posts need to be 400-1500 words (maximum)
  2. MP4-based posts (e.g., recorded interviews, podcasts, mini-lectures, etc.) of 2 1/2-5 minutes are acceptable but the MP4’s will need to be uploaded separately (contact me for the upload details) with a 100-200 word ‘abstract’
  3. We invite posts on calls for participation (papers, conferences, etc.), information about upcoming events relevant to the community, recent publications (promote your latest work), risk and crisis in the news, and teaching and training related to risk and crisis communication
  4. All posts need to have a featured image and we encourage visualisation of material where possible. However, all visuals must be copyright free OR owned by the person posting them.
  5. Before their first post, contributors are expected to create a brief profile and are encouraged to upload a photo, put in their own social media, and email contact information.
  6. Aside from the MP4’s that will be uploaded separately, contributors are responsible for laying out their own posts. Technical help using WordPress is generally not available from the management team, but there is a lot of WordPress documentation for help.

Posts will be moderated by a member of the division’s management team before being scheduled for posting. However, our objective is to encourage open participation; therefore, this is not a ‘peer-review’ process; rather, ensuring the content is accessible and appropriate to the group’s mission.