The Nicholson School of Communication hosted the first International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference at the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union. Attendees and participants in the 2011 conference traveled from as far as Korea, The UK and all across the United States to hear fellow professionals and scholars speak about the significance of new trends and technology such as social media on crisis communication in the 21st century.

Some highlights from the two day event include corporate case studies from Ann Cline, Manager of Emergency Response for Airtran, Michael Griffin, Vice President of Communications for Disney and Marc Ladin, Vice President of Everbridge. Of all of the corporate speakers, Neil Chapman, Former Director of Public Affairs, BP (British Petroleum) and Gerald Baron, Executive Vice President, Communications, O’Brien’s Response Management accrued the most interest from the attendees. These executives represented the oil industry during the Gulf Oil spill last year gave a rare glimpse into the strategies, choices, and yes even mistakes made in communicating to the media, government, and public during the gulf oil disaster.

The Nicholson School also welcomed a diverse group of scholars to the convention including O.C. Ferrell Ph.D. and Linda Ferrell Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, Michael Palenchar from the University of Tennessee and UCF’s own Dr. Steve Collins and Dr. Timothy Coombs. Kevin C. Thomas, M.B.A., Ph.D., Director, Master of Science in Healthcare Emergency Management Program, Boston University presented the results of his psychometric, behavioral, neurophysiological research into cognitive information processing of persuasive messages during high critical contexts. He also offered useful information for teams, group communication, and decision making communication insights.

David Barney, a graduate student from Bowie State University, stated the convention was “the most informative conference on Crisis Communication ever! The diverse schools of thought were incredibly valuable.” Maureen Taylor Ph.D., Professor from the University of Oklahoma, felt “ICRC brought together high level crisis communications experts with top scholars. The topics were highly relevant and I would recommend this to others.” Dr. Robert Chandler and the rest of the Nicholson School of Communication look forward to hosting this annual convention again March 5th-7th 2012.

ICRC website