Responding to Crisis: A Rehetorical Approach to Crisis Communication

Responding to Crisis: A Rehetorical Approach to Crisis Communication

Responding to Crisis: A Rehetorical Approach to Crisis Communication

Responding to Crisis: A Rehetorical Approach to Crisis Communication

Synopsis

In recent years, researchers and practitioners have explored the nature, theory, and best practices that are required for effective and ethical crisis preparation and response. The consequences of being unprepared to respond quickly, appropriately, and ethically to a crisis are dramatic and well documented. For this reason, crisis consulting and the development of crisis response plans and protocols have become more than a cottage industry. Taking a rhetorical view of crisis events and utterances, this book is devoted to adding new insights to the discussion, and to describing a rhetorical approach to crisis communication. To help set the tone for that description, the opening chapter reviews a rhetorical perspective on organizational crisis. As such it raises questions and provokes issues more than it addresses and answers them definitively. The other chapters can be viewed as a series of experts participating in a panel discussion. The challenge to each of the authors is to add depth and breadth of understanding to the analysis of the rhetorical implications of a crisis, as well as to the strategies that can be used ethically and responsibly. Central to this analysis is the theoretic perspective that crisis response requires rhetorically tailored statements that satisfactorily address the narratives surrounding the crisis which are used by interested parties to define and judge it. This volume is of value to scholars and students interested in crisis communication, and is certain to influence future work and research on responding to crises.

Excerpt

In recent years, researchers and practitioners have explored the nature, theory, and best practices that are required for effective and ethical crisis preparation and response. The consequences of being unprepared to respond quickly, appropriately, and ethically to a crisis are dramatic and well documented. For this reason, crisis consulting and the development of crisis response plans and protocols have become more than a cottage industry. Agencies devote part of their business toiling for their clients and employers who are in trouble or who want to avert trouble by proper strategic planning. Responding to this challenge, researchers and practitioners want to know best practices of crisis planning and response.

Public relations literature is littered with case studies of organizations which lost brand equity, suffered damage to products, services, and lost issue positions because of inept handling of crises preparation and response. A classic example of crisis damage occurred in 2000 when the actuality and potentiality of death and bodily harm drove Bridgestone/Firestone stock share value to less than half of what it had been before the crisis. That crisis cost the company lots money and a ton of consumer good will.

Taking a rhetorical view of crisis events and utterances, this book is devoted to adding new insights to the discussion. The book describes a rhetorical approach to crisis communication. To help set the tone for that descrip-

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