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.


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/


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.


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.