The value of communication during a crisis: Insights from strategic communication research Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. The field of strategic communication encompasses a burgeoning crisis communication literature that seeks to identify effective and ineffective crisis communication efforts. Strategic communication has identified an array of crisis response strategies and the factors that determine when these response options are effective or ineffective. This article extracts key lessons from the crisis communication research to develop a set of guidelines managers can use to inform their crisis communication efforts. The analysis includes an examination of the crisis response strategies and their desired outcomes, the timing of crisis responses, and the situational factors that have proven to affect the effectiveness of crisis response strategies. The research results provide the foundation for evidence-based crisis communication. The guidelines help managers to understand how their communicative choices will impact the corporate reputation and other important crisis outcomes, and will help managers to make informed choices about crisis communication.

published proceedings

  • Business Horizons

altmetric score

  • 4.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 163

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • January 2015