Georgia State University

Project Description

Psychological Effects of Communicating a Crisis: The Public Information Officer's Perspective

Project Abstract

As background, there is research on how certain professions -- such as police officers, firefighters, and emergency rescue workers -- are psychologically affected by what they experience on the job. That has contributed to research on journalists who have similar effects due to repeated traumatic exposure that comes from reporting on crimes, murders, car accidents, natural disasters, etc.

This study will look at public information officers (spokespersons) and how they may be similarly affected since they are a near professional cousin to journalists and also have communication responsibilities during times of crisis or extreme stress. No known related research exists on public information officers. The goal of the research study is to determine whether public information officers have psychological similarities or differences to other groups that have responsibilities of communicating tragic news or events during a crisis.

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