12Conclusion: Implementing the Best Practices

As more and more complex risks develop, crises and disasters are occurring more often. Governments, communities, organizations, families, and individuals will face serious risks that could evolve into crises. One very broad risk, for example, is climate change, the shift in global weather patterns associated with high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. This risk will create more extreme weather events, sea level rise and floods, and more infectious disease outbreaks. These events will receive considerable coverage from both new media and legacy media. Effective communication is necessary to avoid crises when possible and manage them when they erupt. In fact, it is just not possible to manage a crisis without communication. New ways of communicating mean we often hear about these crises more quickly. We also receive contradictory information about crises from diverse perspectives regarding what happened, why, and who is to blame.

The 10 best practices for crisis and emergency risk communication we presented in the previous sections are important tools for crisis management. Effective communication can help limit harm to organizations, communities, and individuals. However, they should be used as general standards rather than specific rules about communication methods, channels, and messages. These best practices do not constitute a crisis communication plan but are the principles or processes that should be used to create an effective ...

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