1st Edition

Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication

Edited By Robert L. Heath, H. Dan O'Hair Copyright 2009

    The Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication explores the scope and purpose of risk, and its counterpart, crisis, to facilitate the understanding of these issues from conceptual and strategic perspectives. Recognizing that risk is a central feature of our daily lives, found in relationships, organizations, governments, the environment, and a wide variety of interactions, contributors to this volume explore such questions as: "What is likely to happen, to whom, and with what consequences?"; "To what extent can science and vigilance prevent or mitigate negative outcomes?"; and "What obligation do some segments of local, national, and global populations have to help other segments manage risks?", shedding light on the issues in the quest for definitive answers.

    The Handbook offers a broad approach to the study of risk and crisis as joint concerns. Chapters explore the reach of crisis and risk communication, define and examine key constructs, and parse the contexts of these vital areas. As a whole, the volume presents a comprehensive array of studies that highlight the standard principles and theories on both topics, serving as the largest effort to date focused on engaging risk communication discussions in a comprehensive manner.

    With perspectives from psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and communication, the Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication enlarges the approach to defining and recognizing risk and how should it best be managed. It provides vital insights for all disciplines studying risk, including communication, public relations, business, and psychology, and will be required reading for scholars and researchers investigating risk and crisis in various contexts.

    Section I: Exploring the Reach of Crisis and Risk Communication

    Chapter 1: The Significance of Risk and Crisis Communication-- Robert L. Heath & Dan O’Hair

    Chapter 2: Historical Trends in Risk and Crisis Communication -- Michael J. Palenchar Chapter 3: Cultural Theory and Risk -- James Tansey and Steve Rayner

    Chapter 4: Risk Communication: Insights and Requirements for Designing Successful Communication Programs on Health and Environmental Hazards -- Ortwin Renn

    Chapter 5: Conceptualizing Crisis Communication -- W. Timothy Coombs

    Chapter 6: The Precautionary Principle and Risk Communication -- Steve McGuire  and Jaye Ellis

    Section II: Key Constructs of Crisis and Risk Communication

    Chapter 7: Strategies for Overcoming Challenges to Risk Communication -- Vincent Covello

    Chapter 8: Risk Communication Education for Local Emergency Managers: Using the CAUSE Model for Research, Education, and Outreach -- Katherine E. Rowan, Carl H. Botan, Gary L. Kreps, Sergi Samoilenko, and Karen Farnsworth.

    Chapter 9: Risk and Social Dramaturgy -- Ingar Palmlund

    Chapter 10: Myths and Maxims of Risk and Crisis Communication -- Peter A. Anderson  and Brian H. Spitzberg

    Chapter 11: The Ecological Perspective and Other Ways to (Re)Consider Cultural Factors in Risk Communication -- Linda Aldoory

    Chapter 12: Science Literacy and Risk Analysis: Relationship to the Postmodernist Critique, Conservative Christian Activists, and Professional Obfuscators -- Michael Ryan

    Chapter 13: Influence Theories: Rhetorical, Persuasion, and Informational -- Jeffrey K. Springston, Elizabeth Johnson Avery, and Lynne M. Sallot

    Chapter 14: Raising the Alarm and Calming Fears: Perceived Threat and Efficacy During Risk and Crisis -- Anthony J. Roberto, Catherine E. Goodall, and Kim Witte

    Chapter 15: Post-Crisis Communication and Renewal: Understanding the Potential for Positive Outcomes in Crisis Communication -- Robert R. Ulmer, Timothy L. Sellnow, and Matthew W. Seeger 

    Chapter 16: Risk Communication by Organizations: The Back Story -- Caron Chess and Branden Johnson

    Chapter 17: Ethical Responsibility and Guidelines for Management Issues of Risk and Risk Management -- Shannon A. Bowen

    Chapter 18: Linking Public Participation and Decision Making through Risk Communication -- Katherine A. McComas, Joseph Arvai, and John C. Besley

    Chapter 19: Warming Warnings: Global Challenges of Risk and Crisis Communication -- David McKie and Christopher Galloway

    Chapter 20: Risk, Crisis, and Mediated Communication  -- Kurt Neuwirth

    Chapter 21: Crises and Risk in Cyberspace -- Kirk Hallahan

    Chapter 22: Virtual Risk: The Role of New Media in Violent and Nonviolent Ideological Groups -- Matthew T. Allen, Amanda D. Angie, Josh L. Davis, Cristina L. Byrne, H. Dan O’Hair, Shane Connelly, and Michael D. Mumford

    Chapter 23: Community Building through Risk Communication Infrastructures -- Robert L. Heath, Michael J. Palenchar, and H. Dan O’Hair

    Section III: Contexts of Crisis and Risk Communication

    Chapter 24: Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication in Health Contexts: Applying the CDC Model to Pandemic Influenza -- Matthew W. Seeger, Barbara Reynolds, and Timothy L. Sellnow

     Chapter 25: How People Think about Cancer: A Mental Models Approach -- Julie S. Downs, Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Baruch Fischhoff, Bradford Hesse, and Ed Maibach

    Chapter 26: Killing and Other Campus Violence: Restorative Enrichment of Risk and Crisis Communication -- Cindi Atkinson, Courtney Vaughn, and Jami VanCamp

     Chapter 27: Denial, Differentiation and Apology: On the Use of Apologia in Crisis Management -- Keith Hearit  and Kasie Mitchell Robeson

    Chapter 28: Risk Communication and Biotechnology: A Discourse Perspective -- Shirley Leitch and Judy Motion

    Chapter 29: Precautionary Principle and Biotechnology: Regulators Are from Mars and Activists Are from Venus -- Stephanie Proutheau and Robert L. Heath

    Chapter 30: Environmental Risk Communication: Responding to Challenges of Complexity and Uncertainty -- Tarla Rai Peterson and Jessica Leigh Thompson

    Chapter 31: Knowing Terror: On the Epistemology and Rhetoric of Risk -- Kevin J. Ayotte, Daniel Rex Bernard, and H. Dan O’Hair

    Chapter 32: Magnifying Risk and Crisis: The Influence of Communication Technology on Contemporary Global Terrorism -- Michael D. Bruce, Kristin Shamas, and H. Dan O’Hair

    Chapter 33: Opportunity Knocks: Putting Communication Research into the Travel and Tourism Risk and Crisis Literature -- Lynne M. Sallot, Elizabeth Johnson Avery, and Jeffrey K. Springston



    Robert L. Heath, Ph.D., is a retired professor of communication at the University of Houston.  He has engaged in risk communication studies since the early 1990s, primarily related to the relationship between chemical manufacturing complexes and near neighbors. Dr. Heath's numerous publications include encyclopedia, handbooks, textbooks, edited volumes, and journal articles.

    H. Dan O’Hair, Ph.D., is professor of communication and Director of Advanced Programs in the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. He is the immediate past editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and has served as an associate editor for over a dozen scholarly journals. Dr. O’Hair has authored and co-authored research articles and scholarly book chapters in the fields of communication, health, medicine, and business.