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

In our last post, we took a quick look at the first chapter in this must-have resource for risk communicators. Below, we’ll preview the second chapter, “Core Concepts.”

What You Find Within

The following are the topics covered in the book. In the section that follows, we’ll look more in depth at the second 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 2: “Core Concepts”

As the chapter title suggests, Dr. Covello explores core concepts by first defining the fields of risk, crisis, and high-concern communications. He also shows the situations where communicators can apply these disciplines.

In the chapter, Dr. Covello elaborates on the application of these practices, lays out terminology, and defines the scope of these often daunting situations.

Case Studies: One from the C Suite

Case studies represent one of the most important features of the book. They arrive, in a sense, via popular demand, as people have frequently asked Dr. Covello to share the on-the-ground intricacies of his profession.

In chapter two, Dr. Covello leads readers through an engagement he undertook with the chief executive officer of a corporation in the health, safety, and environment field. The CEO was selling the company, and as often occurs in these instances, rumors swirled.

Enter Dr. Covello and his unique skillset.

The case studies form a highly referenceable touchpoint for students of risk communication, and early readers have already been singing their praises.

Finally, each chapter ends with an extensive list of resources. These are of immense value for further exploration in the field.

In the next entry in this series, we’ll preview the third chapter, which focuses on an overview of risk communication (emphasis on “risk”).

Pathway Prompt: Do you have a personal case study that informs your work in risk, high-concern, or crisis communication?

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.