Use the Event Hazard/Outrage Scale as Preparation for Crisis Campaigns

In the last 20 years, crisis communications has emerged as a growing subset of PR. Large-scale public crises such as Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and a rash of campus shootings have captured the imagination of the general public, bringing visceral images of such events into our living rooms. Extensive media coverage does, however, provide the PR practitioner with an opportunity to exert control over the situation by appealing to the needs of audiences who may be fearful, uncertain or distressed by the impact of the crisis in question. This article details a recently developed measurement technique, the Event Hazard/Outrage Scale, that can be used by PR practitioners to anticipate the needs of the public during crises, and respond accordingly. EVALUATE RISKS Under these circumstances, distributing information about the crisis in a clear and timely manner is essential.

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