Risk communication management: a case study on Brookhaven National Laboratory

Risk communication management: a case study on Brookhaven National Laboratory Purpose – The purpose of this case study was to analyze risk communication management practice of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), using the relationship management theory in public relations. Design/methodology/approach – The study draws upon interviews with key stakeholders of the laboratory, including top managers, communication practitioners, employees, and community members. Media reports, internal documents, and on‐site participant observations were concurrently analyzed. Findings – The study identified leadership communication, organizational commitment to stakeholder relationships, integrated communication function, employee participation in community outreach, and symmetrical communication strategies as contributing factors of effective risk communication management. In particular, the study provided insights into the roles employees play in risk communication settings. It was found that employees' use of symmetrical communication strategies such as openness, access, and listening in risk communication programs contributed to external publics' development of positive perceptions regarding the organization. Practical implications – The article concludes with four implications of the findings for the practice of risk communication. Originality/value – This study closely followed the methods by which public relations practitioners, non‐public relations employees, and publics engaged in the relationship building process. The case study should, therefore, provide insights to students and scholars interested in discovering public relations theory at work in a real‐life setting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Communication Management Emerald Publishing

Risk communication management: a case study on Brookhaven National Laboratory

Journal of Communication Management, Volume 12 (3): 19 – Jul 25, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1363-254X
DOI
10.1108/13632540810899416
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this case study was to analyze risk communication management practice of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), using the relationship management theory in public relations. Design/methodology/approach – The study draws upon interviews with key stakeholders of the laboratory, including top managers, communication practitioners, employees, and community members. Media reports, internal documents, and on‐site participant observations were concurrently analyzed. Findings – The study identified leadership communication, organizational commitment to stakeholder relationships, integrated communication function, employee participation in community outreach, and symmetrical communication strategies as contributing factors of effective risk communication management. In particular, the study provided insights into the roles employees play in risk communication settings. It was found that employees' use of symmetrical communication strategies such as openness, access, and listening in risk communication programs contributed to external publics' development of positive perceptions regarding the organization. Practical implications – The article concludes with four implications of the findings for the practice of risk communication. Originality/value – This study closely followed the methods by which public relations practitioners, non‐public relations employees, and publics engaged in the relationship building process. The case study should, therefore, provide insights to students and scholars interested in discovering public relations theory at work in a real‐life setting.

Journal

Journal of Communication ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 25, 2008

Keywords: Risk management; Communication; Employee involvement; Community relations; Public relations

References

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