Audra Diers-Lawson

Professor of Risk and Crisis Communication

Kristiania University College, Oslo Norway

  • PhD 2006 – University of Texas-Austin
  • MA 1999 – University of Wyoming
  • BA 1997 – Colorado State University

My research and work focuses on risk and crisis communication emphasizing the stakeholder or citizen experience because I do not believe that we can talk about strategic communication from an organizational centric focus and be successful in real-world contexts.

This conclusion comes from more than 20 years of collaborations or working with organizations like the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Applied Materials, the WHO Europe, Asia Europe Foundation along with a host of private businesses and other nonprofit/charities. I believe strongly that evidence-based decision-making is critical — no matter whether we are talking about supporting people, building responsible and sustainable organizations, or responding to global pandemics at all levels.

This is also the thread that binds my research together and is articulated in my book Crisis Communication: Managing Stakeholder Relationships along with forthcoming (2023) co-edited books including Pandemic Communication with Stephen Croucher and Risk and Crisis Communication in Europe: Towards Integrating Theory and Practice in Unstable and Turbulent Times with Andreas Schwarz, Florian Meissner, and Silvia Ravazzani. My body of research includes more than 30 book chapters and journal articles that have come out in the last few years or will be coming out in the next few years. Much of my research focuses on ‘mega-crises’ like the 2010 BP Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico or the fall out from societal level crises like Brexit (UK) or the COVID-19 pandemic because these are the crises that affect people’s everyday lives.

I also strongly support building a strong international risk and crisis communication community of experts — both scholars and practitioners — and have materially supported that with leadership in organizations like the Crisis Communication section of the European Communication Research and Education Association or editing the Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research. The real problems affecting people need cross-disciplinary, cross-sector, and international collaborations.

As a result, I am so pleased to be in Norway at Kristiania University College because I’m in an academic environment that supports all of these objectives, its students, and an applied research and practice approach to higher education.

What’s this blog about?

Well — I will probably keep my travel photography, dog pictures, and references to the World of Warcraft to a minimum, but I will be talking a lot about the intersections of crisis, risk, current events, and social responsibility.

Why should you read? Honestly, you have to figure that one out — I’m assuming it’ll be because we either share some interest in common, you’re one of my students, or you’ve accidentally found yourself here. I do try to make sure that anything I share is reliably sourced but everything is certainly copyrighted and my own opinions (i.e., don’t hold anyone else accountable for the content).

Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

I’m always open to guest posts and other forms of engagement, so feel free to contact me at audrarlawson@gmail.com.


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