Strategic risk communication: Adding value to society
The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise summary of the evolvement and the current state of risk communication research and draw insights from a decade of risk communication studies [Heath, R. L., & Abel, D. D. (1996). Proactive response to citizen risk concerns: Increasing citizens’ knowledge of emergency response practices. Journal of Public Relations Research, 8(3), 151–171; Heath, R. L., & Palenchar, M. (2000). Community relations and risk communication: A longitudinal study of the impact of emergency response messages. Journal of Public Relations Research, 12(2), 131–162; Palenchar, M. J., & Heath, R. L. (2002). Another part of the risk communication model: Analysis of communication processes and message content. Journal of Public Relations Research, 14(2), 127–158; Palenchar, M. J., & Heath, R. L. (2003a). Protracted strategic risk communication: A longitudinal analysis of community’s zones of meaning. Paper presented at the conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Kansas City, MO; Palenchar, M. J., & Heath, R. L. (2003b). Strategic risk communication: A longitudinal analysis of a community’s emergency response awareness and practices. Paper presented at the conference of the National Communication Association, Miami, FL; Palenchar, M. J., & Heath, R. L. (2006b). Strategic risk communication campaigns: Some insights from the culmination of a decade of research. Paper presented at the conference of the International Communication Association, Dresden, Germany; Palenchar, M. J., Heath, R. L., & Dunn, E. (2005). Terrorism and industrial chemical production: A new era of risk communication. Communication Research Reports, 22(1), 59–67]. A meta-analysis of the authors’ research based on qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including professionally conducted telephone interviews, focus groups, in-depth interviews and ethnography, suggests that strategic risk communication based on the concept that ideas and meaning count, transparency, building trust through community outreach and collaborative decision making, acknowledging uncertainty, and narrative enactment are fundamental communication guidelines for good organizations communicating well; keys for risk communication if it is to add value to society.
Michael J. Palenchar and Robert L. Heath. "Strategic risk communication: Adding value to society" Public Relations Review 33 (2007): 120-129.
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