As a pioneer in the realm of risk, high concern and crisis communication, Dr. Vincent Covello never knows what to expect when he checks his phone.

In one case, he received a voice mail from a friend who was facing a challenging situation as the CEO of her company. A major newspaper had published a negative article about her company. Even worse, the article contained several inaccuracies, and she believed the article stemmed from bad previous interactions with the reporter.

What was she to do? How could she address the situation and not make it worse?

This case study, including the methods Dr. Covello employed to help the CEO, opens chapter twelve of Dr. Covello’s most recent release, Communicating in Risk, Crisis, and High Stress Situations: Evidence-Based Strategies and Practice.

Our previous post previewed the eleventh chapter of Dr. Covello’s must-have resource for risk communicators. Below we’ll look into the twelfth chapter, “Communicating with Mainstream News Media.”

What You Find Within

The following are the topics covered in Dr. Covello’s book. In the section that follows, we’ll look more in depth at the twelfth 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 12: “Communicating with Mainstream News Media”

In this chapter, readers find an in-depth look at broadcast and published news media. Dr. Covello provides guidelines for communicating with journalists and other mainstream news representatives. Readers will also learn about the following:

  • The factors that affect the reporting choices of journalists
  • The way journalists work
  • The concept of “bridging” to communicate thoughts in a media interview

As with each chapter, Dr. Covello concludes with an extensive list of resources ideal for further exploration.

In the next entry in this series, we’ll preview the thirteenth chapter, which focuses on a subject that’s daunting for many risk, high concern, and crisis communicators: social media.

Pathway Prompt: Can you think of a bad situation you’ve encountered when dealing with the media? How did you address it?

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

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.