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Ongoing Crisis Communication

Ongoing Crisis Communication
Planning, Managing, and Responding

Fourth Edition

January 2014 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Crises occur every day: an airplane crashes into a mountain; a corporation lays off thousands of workers; an oil spill threatens an ecosystem. Such crises can be devastating for individuals, organizations, the organizations’ stakeholders, and even entire industries.

Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding provides an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to the entire crisis communication process. Drawing on his extensive firsthand experience, Dr. Timothy Coombs uses a three-staged approach to crisis management (pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis), explains how crisis management can prevent or reduce the threats of a crisis, and provides guidelines for how best to act and react in an emergency situation. The book includes new coverage of social media, social networking sites, and terrorist threats while drawing from recent works in management, public relations, organizational psychology, marketing, organizational communication, and computer-mediated communication research.

Visit the author's blog at  
1. A Need for More Crisis Management Knowledge
2. Effects of the Online World on Crisis Communication and Crisis Management
3. Proactive Management Functions and Crisis Management
4. The Crisis Prevention Process
5. Crisis Preparation: Part I
6. Crisis Preparation: Part II
7. Crisis Recognition
8. Crisis Response
9. Post-Crisis Concerns
Appendix: Possible Case Studies

This book will be recommended as supplement for the Course of Crisis Management. I have used the previous edition for the same course with success.

Mr Knut Steinar Dyrkorn
Special Education , Fagskolen i Aalesund
May 6, 2016

Excellent textbook and easy to read

Dr Morgan Ginther
Communications Dept, Tennessee State University
March 18, 2015

Now more than ever, the knowledge of how to manage crises is essential. As the book is solely focused on crisis communication, it's assured that the various different aspects of crisis communication are taken into account. Also the fact that the book includes the challenges of social media on communication is a plus.

Dr Ulla Hakala
Marketing and International Business, Univ. of Turku
September 21, 2014

Easy read, with comprehensive content.

Dr Clarence Williamson
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Walden University
August 5, 2014

I like the layout, the charts to help students grasp information at a glance, the diagrams to help students understand relationships, the current information and cases, the application boxes, the spokesperson training information, and the list of potential case studies in the Appendix updated through 2013. It presents all the critical information in a concise way that is easy to comprehend and apply.

Dr Jennifer Robinette
Fine Arts Division, Concord University
February 19, 2014
Key features
  • Updated examples in every chapter illustrate recent crisis and the effect of crisis communication on the outcomes.
  • New Crisis Leadership Competencies boxes in every chapter illustrate the essential skills needed to manage crisis communication effectively in a wide range of situations.
  • Expanded coverage of social media demonstrates its increasing impact on crisis communication and crisis management.


  • Crisis management is integrated with three other proactive management functions—issues management, risk management, and reputation management—demonstrating that the best way to manage a crisis is to prevent one.
  • The term crisis is refined by discussing the differences between traditional and social media crises.
  • A chapter on the Internet and social media shows how social media has become both a tool for recognizing warning signs as well as a key channel for communicating with stakeholders during a crisis.
  • What Would You Do? mini-cases allow readers to apply book concepts to real crisis events. Many of the cases use running examples and appear in two or three chapters to illustrate how crises evolve.
  • Discussion questions at the end of chapters help readers extend their understanding of the material.
  • Crisis Leadership Competencies boxes for each chapter identify ways that leaders can facilitate and enhance crisis communication efforts.
  • An Epilogue summarizes key lessons for managers from the vast crisis communication research literature and identifies important trends that will shape the near future of crisis communication.


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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ISBN: 9781452261362