Crisis Communication Management Defined

Following the strategic approach for public relations, we define crisis communication management as an ongoing and holistic process, in which the place actively communicates with the public in order to minimize any damage to the place image. Knowing that having an image crisis is no longer a question of if but rather a question of when, all places should be involved in crisis communication management, regardless of their current image or the probability of a crisis.

In order to gain a better understanding and elaborate the definition of crisis communication management, we can inspect the different crisis communication activities taken in the different stages of a crisis:


1. Precaution - In accordance with its name, during the precaution stage most actions taken by organizations and places have nothing to do with a specific crisis situation but mainly concern preventive measures. This ongoing stage is used to create a strong and favorable image for the place through activities such as social contribution, community relations, allocating resources to PR, and creating good media relations.


2. Planning-Prevention - In the second stage of crisis communication management, the place's main goal is to prepare for future crises and to try to prevent them before they get out of control. The main tasks in the planning-prevention stage are the preparation of issue management plan (risk management), and the creation of a communication response strategy (also known as emergency response and action strategy).

3. Crisis Coping - Crisis coping is a highly complex task in which a wide variety of measures are taken to contain the crisis, reduce its scale, and bring it to an end. As in the preceding stages, a correct, professional, and proactive use of crisis communication techniques can ease the perception of the crisis and prevent long-term damage to the place's image. On the other hand, places that do not succeed in gaining control of the crisis coverage and delivering the right messages might find themselves facing a long-term image crisis.


4. Post-crisis - In every crisis there is a post-crisis stage, starting once the smoke has cleared and lasting months or even years after the physical crisis has faded. From the perspective of crisis communication management, this stage is used for PR, advertising and marketing campaign aimed at altering the places image and re-attracting tourists, visitors and investors.


Interested in learning more?

The official website of Eran Ketter (PhD)

Tourism marketing research by Eran Ketter

Destination marketing books by Eran Ketter

Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis

Tourism destination marketing book by Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter