With the release of Communicating in Risk, Crisis, and High Stress Situations: Evidence-Based Strategies and Practice, Dr. Vincent T. Covello presented communicators with a comprehensive resource for addressing situations in which trust has been compromised.

What You Find Within

Below are the topics covered in the book. In the section that follows, we’ll look more in depth at the first chapter.

  • The Critical Role of Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication
  • Core Concepts
  • An Overview of Risk Communication
  • Development of Risk Communication Theory and Practice
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Empowerment
  • Communicating in a Crisis
  • Foundational Principles: Perceptions, Biases, and Information Filters
  • Foundational Principles: Trust, Culture, and Worldviews
  • Best Practices for Message Development in High Concern Situations
  • Communicating Numbers, Statistics, and Technical Information about a Risk or Threat
  • Evaluating Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communications
  • Communicating with Mainstream News Media
  • Social Media and the Changing Landscape for Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication

A Peek Inside Chapter 1

The first chapter sets the stage for the principles explored in the book, which serves as both a professional handbook and training resource.

Throughout the book are case studies illustrating the principles in each chapter. In this first chapter, Dr. Covello relates his experience practicing risk communication with the managers of a nuclear facility.

The case studies throughout are a useful method for understanding the ways trust, communication, and training work together in this realm.

After establishing the need for the lessons in the book, Dr. Covello addresses a number of changes that have made this new volume such a crucial resource. These changes include:

  • New research
  • Changes in the communication landscape
  • Changes in journalism
  • Changes in laws, regulations, and societal expectations
  • Changes in concerns about health, safety, and the environment
  • Changes in levels of trust
  • Changes in the global political environment
  • COVID-19

In the next entry in this series, we’ll preview the second chapter, which focuses on core principles.

Pathway Prompt: What changes in the landscape (for you and your stakeholders) have driven the need for your recent risk communications?

Communicating Effectively When Feelings, Fears, and Facts Collide

More information about risk, high-concern, and crisis communication can be found in Dr. Covello’s video-based course Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication.

This master class introduces communicators to the tools and techniques for communicating effectively—while providing greater insight into why audiences react the way they do during times of stress.

The course comprises nine video lectures and accompanying text modules, plus supplemental materials for putting valuable lessons into practice. More information about the course, including group rates and partnering opportunities, can be found by emailing info@pathwaycommunication.com.

Dr. Vincent Covello

Dr. Vincent Covello, director of the Center for Risk Communication, is one of the world’s leading experts and practitioners on risk, high-concern, and crisis communication. He is the author of more than 150 articles in scientific journals and the author/editor of more than 20 books.

Covello, Vincent T. Communicating in Risk, Crisis, and High Stress Situations: Evidence-Based Strategies and Practice. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2022.