Crisis Communication Management by Public Information Officers

Elaboration, 2017

14 Pages, Grade: B



Study Significance.

The Exercise of Authority
Public Information Officers in Crisis Management Associate Areas and Activities.
Objectives of the Research


Demographic Data
Work-Related traumatic Events Exposure
Intensity Exposure
Avoidance and Intrusion Indicators
Intrusion Subset
Avoidance subset
Coping Behaviors

Research Question 1.
Research Question 2





The research was conducted on various professions like firefighters, police officers, and emergency rescue team- first responders and we found out that psychological trauma originates from traumatic events gone through while conducting job. Disaster Crisis Management does not occur after disaster planning which is based on communication. Research has shown that effective disaster management is essentially from crisis association exercises. In particular, there are management problems with regard to the correspondence process, the expert's work and the improvement of coordination. There are no less than five unique ranges of problems in the matching process, be specific in intra-leech practices, associations, associations with people in general, general population and associations, with structures of associations. Exercise of a public information officer troubles originate from misfortunes of higher echelon work force due to exhaust, strife concerning over new calamity undertakings, conflicts over authoritative jurisdictional contrasts. Coordination challenges originate from absence of agreement among associations taking a shot at normal however new crisis related assignments, and troubles in accomplishing general coordination in any group catastrophe that is of any extent. Immediate arranging can constrain these management challenges however it can't totally wipe out all related issues.

Key Words:

Trauma, Public affairs officer, Mental health, Public information officer, Spokesperson, Crisis communication, Media relations, Public relations, stress disorder, Avoidance, Intrusion.


Firefighters, police officers, and emergency rescue employee encounter some disturbing emotional scenes while carrying out their duties (Haslam & Mallon, 2003). The presence of this group “first response” in ugly scenes like fires, accidents, and violent crimes are seconded by public information officers and journalists. All these professions put public information officers and journalists in a distinct kind of situation that can expose them to traumatic events while transmitting the communication. They might fail to realize the long-term effect that will might harm them after experiencing such events.

While the first responders carry out their work of victims rescue, the public information officers and journalists will also be busy trying to gather raw information. Public information officers will collect information by finding the cause of the event to restructure themselves to answer questions asked by the media.

Study Significance.

Due to the job experienced, public information officer and the journalist will often be involved in many such scenes together whereby they experience similar odors, sounds, images, and other sensory-related information. However, Public information officers are privileged to deep information access like trespassing a marked area since most of them relate to employment agencies that are granted such access. They are much exposed to trauma scenes for long hours while trying to gather information.

The main aim of this research is to examine psychological effects experienced by the public information officers in their area of specialization. Numerous studies have been conducted in this area while both the journalist and public information offices being asked questions related to the ugly scenes encountered ever while at work (Haslam & Mallon, 2003; McFarlane & Bookless, 2001; Renck, Simpson & Boggs, 1999). However, little is known on public information officers unlike journalists and first respondents whose area have been heavily researched on. Much is still need to be known concerning their specific training and coping responses or available support programs to them.


The expression "communication process" is utilized purposely to underscore that this issue for the most part includes what is conveyed as opposed to how communication happens. Much of the time, albeit as a matter of fact not all, communication issues don't really emerge from lack of proper equipment, harmed offices, or different types of demolition that bring about rendering the equipment inoperable.

Occasionally, in the midst of catastrophes, the current communication methods are limited. However, these problems from time to time are due in particular to the shortage of equipment before the disaster, rather than a disaster linked to the fiasco. In the dominant part of cases, the problems identified with communication methods are much smaller than those resulting from the communication process. That is, there will be some physical methods of communication. As it may, the resulting problems stem from the useless use of existing equipment or increased options due to human or social errors that disappoint the team.

The Exercise of Authority

Catastrophes require that a few organizations and authorities to accept obligations, decide wisely, and be viewed as authentic. Normally, if the activity of expert is feeble amid non-stressful periods, it will demonstrate much weaker when disaster strikes. If a public information officer is powerless they will be weaker when a disaster strikes. Regardless of the possibility that we expect that the activity of public information officer expert among offices and authorities amid times of commonality are working legitimately inside a group, there will be issues amid the crisis periods of debacles. The challenges which surface, in any case, are regularly not those generally foreseen. The levels of leadership and lines-of-expertise don't separate in association’s establishment. On the off chance that there is lack of correspondence amid a mass crisis, public information officer for the most part will keep on exercising their formal specialist and satisfy their typical obligations and duties. If higher echelon authorities can't be contacted, work force at the center as well as lower echelons frequently to settle on choices they don't typically make. Indeed, even rigid administrations will twist on this issue when looked with obvious emergencies that require a quick authoritative choice or reaction. A typical belief is that associations may not be able to work in a sustainable way due to the dispute between the work and the family members of the authorities. The key part is that key personnel will not respond to work or leave work when a disaster occurs due to a concern or need to address the problems of your family. Research has shown that this supposed partial struggle does not cause the abandonment of disability. Authorities may be required to carry out their professions, despite the fact that there is a mental stump for those involved in a partial fight.

Public Information Officers in Crisis Management Associate Areas and Activities.

a) Personal wearing out

This issue comes from the solid tendency with respect to key authorities in places of public information officer to keep working too long. Such a person who stay at work all day and all night amid the catastrophe will in the end crumple from depletion or end up noticeably wasteful in their basic leadership and different zones of duty. Most importantly, when public information officers are in the end replaced by others, their successors will not have certain data to practice the fundamental specialist, on the grounds that essential information won't have been formally recorded. Basic leadership requires significant learning. Authorities with the fitting data won't generally be physically fit for working past a certain point. On the off chance that such authorities possess key places of specialist, the catastrophe reaction ability of the association can be truly impeded

b) Conflicts in an organization

Another important issue is to find out who has the specialist authorized to do new disaster assignments. At the time when new disaster-related adventures are being created, unavoidable questions arise which associations have the best public information officer to accept them. For example, the obligation to conduct large-scale hunters and conservation exercises or mass interns of the dead are not usually the regular commitments to managing the crises accumulated in an organization.

c) Domain conflicts

The issues of public information officers that cover the execution of common tasks here and there arise between associations and external or growing groups. In general, the security of the territory is always seen as a conventional police work. Clashes may arise if the state police or military personnel enter a dangerous situation and also strive to provide security. Such activities are often seen by the neighborhood police as an effort to usurp their power. This problem, in some cases, shows disagreements about who has the privilege of issuing steps that allow the section in a confined area affected.

The circumstance is considerably more complex to the public information officer when contending association is an additional group gathering or a developing gathering, as, when nonlocal help or welfare organizations give administrations amid a group catastrophe. Despite the fact that they might practice their ordered or regular capacity of giving standard administrations, such offices are usually seen as interlopers into the space or nearby organizations while performing such capacities. On the off chance that the outside of nearby help assemble is another association, existing local offices undertaking a similar disaster task(s) are practically sure to make inquiries about its authenticity and specialist.

d) Conflict Differences

Communication calamities every now and again cut crosswise over jurisdictional limits of nearby associations. This makes a potential for clashes. Amid non-emergency periods, ambiguous, hazy or covering public information officers can regularly be overlooked. Amid calamities this is regularly not the situation. Since calamities now and then require prompt activities and choices, uncertain control issues frequently surface at the stature of a crisis period.

Issues of public information officers are particularly hard to determine. To some degree, this is on the grounds that the topic of authoritative public information officer includes the entire texture of formal and casual power inside a group. This is an unobtrusive and touchy issue brimming with entanglements for anybody who has never learned about the subtleties of nearby history. In this way, it isn't amazing that such issues are hard to get ready for and similarly difficult to deal with when they emerge.

Objectives of the Research

Since there is little known about public information officers, the main aim of the research is to find out the effects of the individuals while mandating their duties, then the main questions we used in finding are as following:

a) How are regular public information officers exposed to traumatic events while carrying out their work?
b) What are some of the coping behaviors used by public information officers when they are in traumatic stress and events?


We administered part of “Public Information Officer Survey” to measure public information officers’ professional and personal, traumatic backgrounds events exposure and coping behavior. Trauma intensity exposure was also measured. The survey process was conducted on a host website different from the normal paper survey since web surveys are more convenient to all participants while carrying out the survey. An added advantage upon online surveys is that various companies offer online data analysis structures decreasing input error and time for tabulating. In that case, we used Questionnaire since most of its previous works included companies like Quest Communications and Microsoft. Therefore subscription was a must since data extraction was sensitive.


The research was availed online for two weeks to all members of NSPRA and NIOA. Organizations leaders were contacted on the quest of assistance and cooperation from all the members whereby email messages were forwarded to each member hence the host by QuestionPro. Survey results were then shared with the organization upon request since survey response should be secret, voluntary and personal. Before the survey was started, each participant was urged to go through a consent and approve it. They were shown of the general study purpose and the reason for their responses. After the survey, the information of the findings was displayed to them.


The survey measured two key areas:

a) Exposure to trauma

Trauma exposure due to the job through a modified scale from Pyevich, Newman, and Daleiden’s (2003) Journalist Trauma Exposure Scale. The scale had to be slightly adjusted since its context in a journalist’s experience and responsibilities. Its statement was then restricted for it to reflect on the nature of the public information officer’s communication crisis as spokesperson agency and not a reporter. Yes or No answering scale used.

b) The Exposure.

The exposure intensity was conducted using

The intensity of exposure also was examined using Pyevich et al. Journalist Trauma Exposure Scale. The questions were aimed at giving the various types of extreme situations that the public information officers might have encountered. Yes or No answering scale used.

c) Coping Behaviors

Behaviors attitude coping with relation to drug and alcohol use by the questions which via discussions with related public information officers.


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Crisis Communication Management by Public Information Officers
University of Nairobi
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The author of this text is not a native speaker. Please excuse any incosistencies and errors.
firefighter, police officer, emergency rescue employee
Quote paper
Vincent Burugoh (Author), 2017, Crisis Communication Management by Public Information Officers, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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