Emergency management communication: The paradox of the positive in public communication for preparedness

Johnston, Kim A. and Taylor, Maureen and Ryan, Barbara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3338-8887 (2020) Emergency management communication: The paradox of the positive in public communication for preparedness. Public Relations Review, 46 (2):101903. pp. 1-10. ISSN 0363-8111


Government emergency management agencies use public communication to inform and educate around risks such as floods, fires, storms, and earthquakes with the aim to help communities understand how to prepare for these emergency events. This study of government communication relating to emergency management preparedness examines an Australian context to understand the types of messages preparing community members for natural hazards. Findings suggest that agencies employ a two-track approach combining warranting and engagement messages. Yet a deeper look at the messages suggests a “paradox of the positive” that overemphasizes the capacity of local agencies to respond to crises and underemphasizes citizen shared responsibility. Implications for the paradox of the positive in other national contexts and public relations theory building are also discussed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: The project from which this paper comes was funded by the Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research along with industry partners NSW State Emergency Service, Inspector General of Emergency Management Qld, Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Cairns Regional Council, Ipswich City Council, Tablelands Regional Council.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 01:25
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 04:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public communication; Community engagement; Emergency; Natural hazard; Preparation; Paradox of the positive
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470101 Communication studies
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2020.101903
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38549

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