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Effective Crisis Communication

Effective Crisis Communication
Moving From Crisis to Opportunity

Fifth Edition

September 2022 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

In this fully updated Fifth Edition, three of today’s most respected crisis/risk communication scholars provide the latest theory, practice, and innovative approaches for handling crisis. This acclaimed book presents the discourse of renewal as a theory to manage crises effectively. The book provides in-depth case studies that highlight successes and failures in dealing with core issues of crisis leadership, managing uncertainty, communicating effectively, understanding risk, promoting communication ethics, enabling organizational learning, and producing renewing responses to crisis. Unlike other crisis communication texts, this book answers the question, “What now?” and explains how organizations can and should emerge from crisis. Authors Robert R. Ulmer, Timothy L. Sellnow, and Matthew W. Seeger provide guidelines for taking the many challenges that crises present and turning those challenges into opportunities for overcoming a crisis.


Part I • The Conceptual Foundation
Chapter 1•Defining Crisis Communication
Chapter 2•Understanding Crisis Communication Theory and Practice
Part II•The Lessons and Practical Application
Chapter 3•Lessons on Effective Crisis Communication
Chapter 4•Applying the Lessons to Produce Effective Crisis Communication
Chapter 5•Lessons on Managing Crisis Uncertainty Effectively
Chapter 6•Applying the Lessons for Managing Crisis Uncertainty Effectively
Chapter 7•Lessons on Effective Crisis Leadership
Chapter 8•Applying the Lessons for Developing Effective Crisis Leadership
Part III•The Opportunities
Chapter 9•Learning Through Failure
Chapter 10•Risk Communication
Chapter 11•Responding to the Ethical Demands of Crisis
Chapter 12•Facilitating Renewal Through Effective Crisis Communication

I am familiar with previous editions and have had success using them. Updates to this edition are just-in-time plus the scholarship and expert practice infused throughout this edition are instructive for student understanding and application. Practical case studies, theories, best practices, and definitions are rigorous without being overwhelming. It's the perfect complement to teaching and a credible "crisis engagement manual".

Dr Melvin Gupton
Communications, Penn St Univ Abington College
December 7, 2023
Key features
  • New and updated examples and case studies include diverse cases from recent headlines such as the October 1st Las Vegas mass shooting and Meet The Helpers COVID-19 translation of science. 
  • Updated theories and references throughout provide readers with the latest information for effective crisis communication. 
  • New appendix based on the latest research on the Discourse of Renewal. 



  • Theory-based and practical lessons in the introductory chapters cover managing uncertainty and effective crisis communication and leadership, setting the stage for the case studies that follow.
  • Timely cases and practical guidelines show readers how organizations can take the challenges presented by crises and turn them into opportunities.
  • Coverage of ethics is included in every chapter.
  • You Make the Call exercises ask readers to examine and build their own crisis communication skills by critiquing the decisions made in a wide range of recent important cases.

Sage College Publishing

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