871367 Communicaton, information and participation

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Volgger, Sabine
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


The lecture will give you a basic understanding of strategic communication planning, communication methods and tools for the creation of communication processes applied in the field of alpine natural hazards.

Strategic communication planning, risk and crisis communication

Alongside measures of natural hazard management such as disaster protection and the use of monitoring and warning systems, risk and crisis communication as well as strategic communication planning is an integral part of risk prevention. During the last few years there has been a development of an independent field of research and science “risk and crisis communication”. In the meantime risk communication concepts include complex patterns of various scientific disciplines dedicated to investigating crisis and crisis phenomena.

Risk communication requires a long-term perspective. In its core it means “all communication serving identification, assessment, valuation and management of risks”. As a result trust and understanding can be build up. Furthermore special attention can be drawn to less considered risks.

The following main steps of strategic communication planning will be presented in the course:

· Analysis

· Communication aims and strategies

· Communication tools

· Reflection and evaluation

Design of communication processes and participation of stakeholder/ people concerned

Participation includes the active involvement of citizens in the planning and decision process as well as an appropriate transfer of information. All people concerned need to be informed about project planning, process steps and results. The creation of project accompanying communication measures is therefore an important part to achieve maximum acceptance for planning result.

To prepare the citizens and organisations for the planning process and ensure a qualified participation it is necessary to broadly inform the stakeholder about the planning content. On the other hand citizens' knowledge concerning natural hazards is an important source of information which can be used for the project planning.

The explained methods and applications of communication forms are content of this lecture.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

To focus communication in the field of natural hazard management students get to know instruments and tools of communication. This tools make it possible to prepare necessary projects on risk prevention, to accompany and to support them in the implementation.
Discussion with the referent based on the featured instruments and tools and experiences in the Group solutions for specific issues will be developped. Practical guidance, individual work and plenary discussions enable application-oriented work.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.