Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 22 Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 69-127

Crisis Communication in Public Organisations: Dimensions of Crisis Communication Revisited (pages 113-125)

Research on crisis communication has traditionally focused on private organisations' reputation and blame avoidance strategies. As a result, there is limited knowledge on crisis communication from the perspective of public organisations. This is troublesome as public organisations have substantial responsibilities for preparing, communicating and managing large‐scale crisis events. In order to be able to better conceptualise public organisations' crisis communication, a typology based on communication aims and orientations is introduced. According to the typology, public organisations engage in two dimensions of crisis communication: reputation‐oriented vs. resilience‐oriented and strategic vs. operational. These dimensions are illustrated and discussed by empirical examples from the Queensland floods of 2010/2011. The paper ends with a discussion on how to understand these dimensions of crisis communication in relation to public organisations' priorities, processes and practices.

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