European Communication conference 2021 – crisis section panels, elections information


On behalf of the current leadership team – Audra Diers-Lawson, Florian Meissner, and Silvia Ravazanni — we hope that you will be able to join us online for the European Communication Conference online from 6-9 September.

Registration is open at: https://www.ecrea2021.eu/

Below is a summary of the Crisis Communication Section’s conference schedule below. We hope to see everyone in the panel sessions, but we would especially highlight our business meeting (Wednesday 8 September from 1315-1445 (Central European Summer Time — GMT +2). Our tentative agenda for the meeting is:

  • Brief summary of activities since the 2018 ECC
  • Update on ECC 2022. 
  • Discussion of 7th Crisis Conference in 2023 (brief reminder from our hosts). 
  • Call for hosts for 8th Crisis Conference in 2025.
  • Any other business
  • Section management elections. We will be electing our leadership team for the next year — remember that we will have another ECC in 2022 to return to our normal schedule. Voting will take place during the business meeting and Dr. Andreas Schwarz will be our elections officer. Below are the candidate statements from each of our colleagues. 

ECC 2021 Crisis Section Parallel Sessions

Tuesday, September 7th, Room 22, 09:00 – 10:30 Parallel Session: The Language of Crisis Communication

Tuesday, September 7th, Room 22 11:00 – 12:30 Parallel Session: Challenges in the Communication of Science, Risk, and Trust

Tuesday, September 7th, Room 22 17:00 – 18:30 Parallel Session: Cultural, National, and International Complexities in Political Crises

Wednesday, September 8th, Room 22 13:15 – 14:45 Business Meeting: Crisis Communication

ECC Management Team Profiles for the Election

Chair Candidate – Audra Diers-Lawson

Audra Diers-Lawson Bio and Position Statement

Brief Bio

I am at present a senior lecturer and research lead in the School of Public Relations and Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. Aside from serving as the current Chair for the section, I am also:

  • The editor of the Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research
  • The guest editor for a special edition of Corporate Communication: An International Journal on risk and crisis communication in the developing world
  • Collaborating with colleagues from around the world on projects that:
    • Evaluates COVID-19 crisis response in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, UK, and the US
    • Is exploring COVID-19 related prejudice in more than 20 countries
    • Better understanding vaccination hesitancy in the UK, Sweden, US, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and New Zealand.
    • Evaluating risk and crisis communication with organizations like the Asia-Europe Foundation and the World Health Organization.

In short, aside from producing applied research, much of my research at present focuses on collaborating with or bringing colleagues together from different countries to create research and practice that has real world impact.

Position Statement

It has been my pleasure to be involved with the ECREA Crisis Communication section and the Crisis Conference Series since the Crisis2 conference in Denmark in 2011. I have served as a host for the Crisis Conference Series, a part of the management team since 2016 and as Chair since 2018.Over the years as our field has matured into a distinctive sub-field within communication and become increasingly institutionalized, the European crisis communication community has emerged as a vital hub for research and engagement. During my time on the management team, we have seen global participation in European and ECREA-based events continue to increase. For example, at Crisis6, we had participants at the conference from more than 20 countries and all continents. The ECC conferences consistently have participation from, of course, Europe but also the Americas and Asia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to maintain an active and global community engagement with our Crisis2021 virtual series. We have also developed and maintain an ECREA Crisis Section website.

Aside from continuing our normal activities, the present management team along with past chair Dr. Andreas Schwarz, is also in the process of developing a proposal for the 2021 ECREA Book Series on Risk and Crisis Communication in Europe where we have invited colleagues from Europe to contribute abstracts. If accepted, our objective for the book is to be a definitive guide to pan-European scholarship and practice.As a continuing chair, my objective is to continue to support and promote interdisciplinary research, education, and practice in risk and crisis communication in Europe.

Vice-Chair Candidates (in alphabetical order — two candidates are elected) – Daniel Laufer, Florian Meissner, Silvia Ravazzani

Daniel Laufer, Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

I am a researcher who has worked in the area of Crisis Communication for 20 years. I have spent half of my career in the USA, and the other half in New Zealand. I have a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

ECREA is involved in a lot of exciting activities, and the recent webinars have been great. If I am elected as Vice Chair I would work with the leadership team on its initiatives, and also help strengthen collaboration with industry, government and the media. This is an area I have focused on throughout my career. I have experience dealing with the media, and for the past two years I have written a successful monthly column on Crisis Management for a leading newspaper in New Zealand. I have also published interviews with senior executives on topics related to Crisis Management for the managerial journal Business Horizons, including an interview with the former head of Corporate Communications at BASF. I also have experience engaging with senior government officials, and the former Prime Minister of New Zealand was a keynote speaker at a conference I organised.

I believe my experience organising successful conferences and special issues will also be useful as Vice Chair at ECREA. In 2019 I was a co-chair of ANZMAC, the largest conference for marketing academics in Australia and New Zealand. We broke attendance records with over 500 participants. I have also successfully edited three special issues on Crisis Management, and my special issue in Business Horizons published in 2015 was the most impactful special issue in the journal based on citations and article downloads in the past 5 years. I currently serve as Associate Editor at Business Horizons and I’m on the editorial boards of both Public Relations Review and Corporate Reputation Review.

I believe that I can contribute to ECREA based on my experience. I also have strong ties to Europe. In addition to my American citizenship, I am a German citizen. I have taught my courses on Crisis Management in Europe (the Mannheim Business School in Germany and Vienna University). Finally, my research on Crisis Contagion with Yijing Wang from Erasmus University (Laufer & Wang, 2018) was highlighted in a statement by the Embassy of the Netherlands in New Zealand as an example of successful research collaboration between the Netherlands and New Zealand. I worked on this project during my sabbatical in Rotterdam.

Bio

Dr Daniel Laufer, PhD, MBA is an Associate Professor of Marketing, and a former head of the school and member of the faculty management team (2014-2017) at Victoria University of Wellington, one of the leading universities in New Zealand. His primary area of expertise is Crisis Management, and his research focuses on crisis communications, and gaining a better understanding of how stakeholders react to crises. Prior to entering academia, Dan worked as a manager at KPMG and a senior consultant at PwC in the USA. Dan currently serves as an Associate Editor for both the European Journal of Marketing and Business Horizons. Dan is also on a number of editorial boards including Public Relations Review and Corporate Reputation Review. Dan’s work is also of great interest to industry, and he was featured by the global consulting firm PwC as an expert on Crisis Management in their magazine in both the USA and New Zealand (2010 and 2013). Over the past few years he has taught workshops to mayors and senior government officials in New Zealand about Crisis Communications.

Florian Meissner, Professor of Media Management and Journalism, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences

Academic CV Summary: 

  • Since 2021/01 Professor at Macromedia University of Applied Sciences (Media Faculty) 
  • 2019/03 – 2020/12 Postdoctoral Researcher at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Dpt. of Communication and Media Sciences) 
  • 2018/06 – 2019/03 Postdoctoral Researcher at TU Dortmund University (Institute of Journalism) 
  • 2015/04 – 2018/05 Ph.D. Fellow, School of International and Intercultural Communication, TU Dortmund University 
  • 2014/04 – 2014/11 Research stay at Tohoku University (Sendai/Japan) Ph.D. Fellow of the Japanese Society for the promotion of science 
  • 2010/06 – 2014/03 Research Assistant, TU Dortmund University (Institute of Journalism) 2009/12 Graduation with a Diploma in Journalism and Sociology (TU Dortmund University)

Position Statement:
The three years since the election of the current management team of ECREA’ s Crisis Communication Section have been eventful. Soon after a successful Crisis6 Conference in Leeds, the Covid-19 pandemic confronted us with the surreal situation that our expertise and new research initiatives were more needed than before, while at the same time we struggled to find opportunities to exchange and interact as a community. 


We have therefore started a virtual series as a venue to present and discuss current research in the field of crisis communication. Participation and feedback have been extremely positive. In case of my re-election as Vice Chair of the Crisis Communication Section, I want to continue with such digital and/or hybrid formats in addition to our regular on-site conference formats. This way, we should also be able to extend the diversity among the participants of our events (for instance, Ph.D. students or colleagues from the Global South). 


Furthermore, I would like to continue my efforts related to coordinating and fostering the exchange on computational methods in crisis Communication research. The related workshop in the abovementioned virtual series has been a first step in that direction. 


Among further points that I want to address in case of re-election are intensifying the discussion of what we, as a community, can or should contribute to the broader issue of global warming and the communicative challenges that come with it. Also, I would like to intensify the mutually beneficial exchange between researchers and practitioners within our community. 


It has been an honor to serve this first term as Vice Chair for our ECREA section, and I would like to ask you to support my candidacy for a second term.

Silvia Ravazzani, Associate Professor in Management, Università IULM, Italy

Short biography

I am currently an Associate Professor in Management at Università IULM, Italy. Previously, I held the same position at the Department of Management at Aarhus University, Denmark.

I have served in the Crisis Communication Section as vice-chair since 2016.

I am part of the Editorial Board of Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research and of European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

I am also Senior Project Leader of the Centre for Employee Relations and Communication at IULM University.

My research interests are mainly crisis communication from an internal and multicultural perspective, employee communication, social media, diversity and business ethics. My work in these areas has been published in various books and journals such as Group & Organization Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, International Journal of Business Communication, and elsewhere.

Awards for my research in the field of crisis communication include the Highly Commended Paper Award at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence in 2017 for “Exploring internal crisis communication in multicultural environments” published in Corporate Communications: An International Journal; and the Academic Highly Commended Paper Award at the Conference of Corporate Communication 2010 for “Manager-Employee Communication During a Crisis: The Missing Link”.

Position statement

I would like to put forward my candidacy to continue in my role as vice chair for the ECREA Crisis Communication Section.

Since 2016 I have worked closely with the current and previous management teams towards the successful development and consolidation of a strong crisis communication community that reaches out globally.

I strongly believe in the need to further encourage the diversity of views, theoretical lenses and methodological approaches that have characterized the work of our community from its inception. Moreover, I am committed towards strengthening the disciplinary institutionalization of crisis communication as a central field of research, teaching and practice through facilitating collaborations and publication opportunities.

For me personally, being a member of the current and previous management teams has represented a priceless opportunity to interact with our vast and diverse community and to continuously learn from it, which I deeply appreciate and would love to profit from in the next two year-mandate as well.

It is on this basis and on my past and current commitment to this Section that I feel confident to ask for your vote.

Silvia Ravazzani, Associate Professor in Management, Università IULM, Italy

Short biography

I am currently an Associate Professor in Management at Università IULM, Italy. Previously, I held the same position at the Department of Management at Aarhus University, Denmark.

I have served in the Crisis Communication Section as vice-chair since 2016.

I am part of the Editorial Board of Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research and of European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

I am also Senior Project Leader of the Centre for Employee Relations and Communication at IULM University.

My research interests are mainly crisis communication from an internal and multicultural perspective, employee communication, social media, diversity and business ethics. My work in these areas has been published in various books and journals such as Group & Organization Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, International Journal of Business Communication, and elsewhere.

Awards for my research in the field of crisis communication include the Highly Commended Paper Award at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence in 2017 for “Exploring internal crisis communication in multicultural environments” published in Corporate Communications: An International Journal; and the Academic Highly Commended Paper Award at the Conference of Corporate Communication 2010 for “Manager-Employee Communication During a Crisis: The Missing Link”.

Position statement

I would like to put forward my candidacy to continue in my role as vice chair for the ECREA Crisis Communication Section.

Since 2016 I have worked closely with the current and previous management teams towards the successful development and consolidation of a strong crisis communication community that reaches out globally.

I strongly believe in the need to further encourage the diversity of views, theoretical lenses and methodological approaches that have characterized the work of our community from its inception. Moreover, I am committed towards strengthening the disciplinary institutionalization of crisis communication as a central field of research, teaching and practice through facilitating collaborations and publication opportunities.

For me personally, being a member of the current and previous management teams has represented a priceless opportunity to interact with our vast and diverse community and to continuously learn from it, which I deeply appreciate and would love to profit from in the next two year-mandate as well.

It is on this basis and on my past and current commitment to this Section that I feel confident to ask for your vote.


Event Announcement: Creating High Impact Crisis & Risk Communication Messages: Applications of the IDEA Model

Friday, 30 April, 2021 time 4-6pm (CET), 10am-12pm (EST)

Panelists, lead by Professor Deanna Sellnow (University of Central Florida) conducting risk and crisis communication research in a variety of contexts, from several global regions will discuss the challenges of communicating quickly, accurately and competently with diverse publics. The panelists will refer to the IDEA as starting point for the discussion. The IDEA model emphasizes the need for risk and crisis messages to help audiences (I) internalize or emotionally accept the risks they face, (D) the need to distribute messages through quickly accessible channels, (E) provide an explanation of the risk that matches the health or science literacy of the audience, and (A) promote practical actions diverse publics can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. For more information about the panel and panelists, click here.

After the panelists discuss their current research, they will welcome questions from the moderator and audience members.

Final registration closes at 12pm (GMT) on 30 April. You will automatically receive the MSTeams link for the event on Friday 30 April when registration closes. Registration is free and all are welcome. Click here to register.  

Please note the sessions are being recorded. Presentations will last approximately 1 hour. We ask for attendees to keep their microphones and cameras off during the presentations and turn them on only to participate in the discussion after the presentations conclude.


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/


Call for Abstracts

Deadline for Submission for Priority for Live Presentations 15 January, 2021

Because it was not realistic to plan & host a live conference in 2021 for the Crisis Communication Division, we are offering two different avenues for presentation of research in 2021  

  • Live Panel Sessions (two-hours each) on the first Friday of each month from 5 February – 2 July.
  • Live/pre-Recorded Presentations (up to 20 minutes each) posted on our website.

Theme for Crisis2021: Risk & Crisis Communication & the ‘New Normal’

As the world responds to 2020 and all of the new challenges it has posed, risk and crisis communication researchers, students, and practitioners have the opportunity to explore issues of work environments, politics, social justice, disasters, ‘ordinary’ crises, learning and teaching, well-being, social responsibility, and technology to name just a few areas connected to the tumultuous year we have all experienced. We are calling for abstracts that look forward from Covid-19 to the future across industries and even for reflective discussions about the role of risk and crisis communication.

You can submit an individual abstract or a panel proposal.

Panel Proposals   These will only be considered for the live sessions. For panel proposals: There should be either 3 or 4 speakers representing at least two different institutions. Preference will be given to multi-national panelsPanels should have a clear theme, brief (paragraph) justification for the theme, and list the speakers and brief summaries of their proposed presentations  Individual Abstracts Individual submissions will be considered for the live panels (if submitted before 15 January) unless otherwise noted in the submission, to include: Author(s) name(s), institutions, and email(s)Preference for live panel or pre-recordedDetailed abstract (no more than 700 words) for the presentation

We aim to accept as many abstracts as possible both for the live sessions and pre-recorded presentations. Don’t worry – the pre-recorded presentations CAN but don’t HAVE to include you on camera – they can simply be PowerPoint presentations with voice overs.

All Live Sessions are Free to Attend.

More details and submission available at: https://ecreacrisis.com/call-for-participation-crisis2021/


New dates for the 8th ECREA conference: 6-9 September 2021

Formal Announcement

Dear ECC 2020 conference applicants, dear ECREA members,

We would like to inform you that in consultation with the Local Organising Committee, the ECREA Executive Board has approved new dates for the 8th European Communication Conference: 6-9 September 2021.

The conference was scheduled for 2-5 October 2020 but we had to make the uneasy decision to postpone. The different timelines and strategies of gradual withdrawal of pandemic prevention measures adopted by individual European countries have made it impossible to organise the event according to our standards of academic quality and hospitality.

Planning of the postponed event will protect all the work already done in the creation of the conference’s scientific programme. The review process has been concluded and the acceptance of papers and panels remains in place for the postponed conference. Over the next months, the organization department will contact all authors to confirm the approved status of previous submissions. The conference calendar will be revised and new important dates will be announced in the conference website.

We are working to prepare a safe and rewarding conference for all participants. Conferences should be exceptional moments for greater integration into our rich and diverse field for scholars of all ages, groups and research interests.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Braga from the 6 to 9 September 2021.

Ilija Tomanic Trivundza, ECREA President

Helena Sousa, General Coordinator of Local Organising Committee