This study evaluates the role of spokespersons in complex organizations facing ambiguous crises. Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) response to the anthrax crisis in 2001 is offered as a case study. A content analysis of the print media coverage of the anthrax crisis reveals that many claiming affiliation with the CDC spoke on behalf of the organization, resulting in what appeared to be a fragmented CDC message. The study concludes that the CDC’s failure to provide a central spokesperson contributed to the ambiguity of the situation.
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Barrett, M. Scott; Hasbargen, Kathryn C.; Ocana, Anthony; Markey, Vern; Berg, Matthew P.; Grand, Scott; and Sellnow, Timothy L.
"The Role of Spokesperson in Ambiguous and Complex Crises: The CDC and Anthrax,"
Speaker & Gavel: Vol. 41
, Article 6.
Available at: http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/speaker-gavel/vol41/iss1/6