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Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780124078680, 9780124079250

Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World

2nd Edition

Authors: George Haddow Kim Haddow
Paperback ISBN: 9780124078680
eBook ISBN: 9780124079250
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 7th January 2014
Page Count: 282
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Communications are key to the success of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Accurate information disseminated to the general public, to elected officials and community leaders, as well as to the media, reduces risk, saves lives and property, and speeds recovery. Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World, Second Edition, provides valuable information for navigating these priorities in the age of evolving media. The emergence of new media like the Internet, email, blogs, text messaging, cell phone photos, and the increasing influence of first informers are redefining the roles of government and media.

The tools and rules of communications are evolving, and disaster communications must also evolve to accommodate these changes and exploit the opportunities they provide. Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World, Second Edition, illuminates the path to effective disaster communication, including the need for transparency, increased accessibility, trustworthiness and reliability, and partnerships with the media.

Key Features

  • Includes case studies from recent disasters including Hurricane Sandy, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, and the Boston Marathon bombings
  • Demonstrates how to use blogs, text messages, and cell phone cameras, as well as government channels and traditional media, to communicate during a crisis
  • Examines current social media programs conducted by FEMA, the American Red Cross, state and local emergency managers, and the private sector
  • Updated information in each chapter, especially on how social media has emerged as a force in disaster communications


Emergency management professionals; security managers; homeland security directors; corporate communications and PR professionals

Table of Contents



Digital Assets

For the Instructor

For the Student

The Butterworth-Heinemann Homeland Security Series

Other Titles in the Series

Other Related Titles of Interest



Chapter One. Communications: The Critical Function





Chapter Two. The Changing Media World

Social Media, News, and Disasters

What IS Social Media?

Social Media and Disasters


Chapter Three. The “New” News Room

The Evolution of the Newsroom

Changing Roles and Responsibilities

Social Media Editors

Journalists as Curators

Social Media in the Newsroom

Social Media as One Part of a Comprehensive Disaster Communications Program


Chapter Four. Disaster Coverage Past and Present

How did This Evolution Occur?

The Emergence of Social Media as a Disaster Communications Tool

The Use of Digital Media During Disasters Will Continue to Skyrocket


Chapter Five. Principles of a Successful Communications Strategy

Principle: Focus on the Needs of your Customers

Principle: Make a Commitment to Effective Communications

Principle: Make Communications an Integral Part of All Planning and Operations

Principle: Be Transparent in Your Communications

Principle: Ensure that Your Information is Accurate

Principle: Release Information in a Timely Manner

Principle: Make Yourself, Your Staff, and Technical Experts (Where Appropriate) Available and Accessible

Principle: Create an Emotional Connection with Your Audience

Principle: Build a Partnership with the Media



Chapter Six. Application of Communications Principles to All Four Phases of Emergency Management


Preparedness Programs and Actions





Chapter Seven. Disaster Communications Audiences

The Public

Elected Officials and Community Leaders

Partners and Stakeholders

The Media



Chapter Eight. How to Adapt to the Changing Media Environment

Social Media as a Critical and Indispensable Element in Disaster and Crisis Communications

Best Social Media Practices for Emergency Managers

Media Relations 101

Keys to All Successful Media Outreach


Chapter Nine. Case Studies

The Boston Marathon Bombings

Hurricane Sandy

The Great East Japan Earthquake

Haiti Earthquake


Chapter Ten. Climate Change

Climate Change Communications

What Adaptation Communicators and Disaster Communicators Have in Common

How Adaptation and Disaster Communictors Can Work Together



Chapter Eleven. Communicating During a Public Health Crisis

Health Departments and Social Media Use

Trends in Social Media Use in Public Health

How Audiences Assess Messages in a Crisis

Crisis Communications Tactics


Chapter Twelve. Building an Effective Disaster Communications Capability in a Changing Media World


A Communication Plan

Information Coming in

Information Going Out



Training and Exercises

Monitoring, Updating, and Adapting



Glossary of Terms

Social Media Terms

Traditional Media Terms

Emergency Management Terms




No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2014
7th January 2014
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

George Haddow

George Haddow

George Haddow currently serves as a Senior Fellow and an Adjunct Professor at the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Prior to joining academia, Mr. Haddow worked for eight years in the Office of the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the White House Liaison and the deputy Chief of Staff. He is a founding partner of Bullock & Haddow LLC, a disaster management consulting firm.

Affiliations and Expertise

Founding partner, Bullock and Haddow LLC; Adjunct Professor, Homeland Security Studies, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA

Kim Haddow

Kim Haddow

Kim Haddow is the president of Haddow Communications in New Orleans – a company specializing in strategic media planning, messaging, and developing research-driven media content, branding and advertising materials for non-profits. Clients have included: the Rockefeller Family Fund, Sierra Club, Make It Right Foundation, U.S. State Department, Public Campaign, and the Trust for America’s Health. Haddow also worked for eight years at Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns (GMMB), a Washington, DC- based media consulting firm, advising political campaigns and non-profits. Haddow began her career at WWL-AM in New Orleans where she managed the news department

Affiliations and Expertise

National Communications Director, Sierra Club


"...a must-read for any safety and security professional who is responsible for writing policies and procedures for emergency preparedness or anyone who is in need of a guidebook on communications during a disaster." --Security Management

"This book defines the key elements of disaster communications with a focus on methods to achieve successful communications along with the principles that should carry the communications along." --Shannon Parker, St. Louis University Institute for Biosecurity

Ratings and Reviews