Case Studies In Crisis Communication International Perspectives On Hits And Misses

Case Studies In Crisis Communication International Perspectives On Hits And Misses-33
Paul (2001) suggests that the rapid adoption of new media has led to a shift in how crisis management is practiced (also see Muralidharan et al. The above case augments how important effective and transparent disaster communication plans and practices are, especially to mitigate impacts on corporate reputation.

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Whilst these industries are considered as having a positive economic impact, they contribute to several negative impacts in the area, including air and water pollution and poor health conditions in the neighbouring communities, exposing the residents to high risks in events of industrial accidents and malfunctions.

The many activities that contribute negatively to this situation in the South Durban basin are identified as two oil refineries, with a total processing capacity of approximately 250 million barrels of crude oil a day (supplying 60% of South Africa’s total fuel requirements), a paper mill with a processing capacity of 550 000 tons per annum, several bulk storage tank facilities which also store hazardous and toxic chemicals in bulk, approximately 300 other industries including the manufacture of chemicals, food and pharmaceutical products and the motor and allied industries (SDCEA 2008a).

Paul (2001) iterates that relatively recently, the one-way disaster communication model had shifted towards a two-way view.

This is especially apparent in how officials and agencies communicate with the general public, who expect up-to-the-minute information regarding a disaster – something now made possible with the advent of the Internet.

The thirteenth, Heartland Leasing, supplies a range of services to the 220 ha industrial site, such as potable water, steam, electricity, laboratory facilities, security, rail and engineering workshops, and is also responsible for maintenance of the site infrastructure (Umbogintwini Industrial Association [UIA] 2013).

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of retail space and over 50 stores, which was opened in 2008, and the Galleria Mall, with over 81 603 m2 of retail space and over 200 stores, which was opened in 2009 (Skinner 206).The challenge remains to not only respond with accurate, understandable and complete information as quickly as possible during a disaster, but also to communicate in a proactive way that involves members of communities to reduce the potential risk of a disaster (Nyondo 2006).Effective communication management is a critical tool in the management of a disaster (Marlow & Wilson 1997).The concentration of such a diverse range of industrial and commercial activities, coupled with a residential population living in close proximity to this development, makes it essential that proper planning is undertaken that involves all key stakeholders.Fundamental to all of this is the need for an integrated communication strategy to keep everyone informed, particularly in cases of emergency and disaster management.In trying to preserve and restore their corporate image, BP used many strategies to alleviate the intensity of the ongoing threat to individuals, businesses and the ecosystem, including various social media channels to interact with individuals and interest groups (Muralidharan, Dillistone & Shin 2011).Until recently, traditional forms of mass communication were used to disseminate information about ‘understanding, surviving, and recovering from natural disasters’ (Paul 20).When considering communication for disaster risk reduction, one should take into consideration that context plays a key role.The sociocultural context of the society, gender perspectives and scale of community (rural, small or mega) will determine how communication will be implemented.(Le Roux 2013:2)disaster risk is increasingly of global concern and its impact and actions in one region can have an impact on risks in another, and vice versa.This, compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographic, technological and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanization, development within high-risk zones, under-development, environmental degradation, climate variability, climate change, geological hazards, competition for scarce resources, and the impact of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, points to a future where disasters could increasingly threaten the world’s economy, and its population and the sustainable development of developing countries. 1)If the process of communication is difficult in our ordinary and daily lives, it is far more so in times of disaster.


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