Photo of an electrostatic microphone with a smoky blue background.

Lessons from the May floods in Serbia

Communicating in a Crisis

April 2020, Number 10.02

“Numerous case studies show that crisis communication can prevent the onset or escalation of a crisis, impact its course, and reduce or increase the duration and severity of consequences as well as the degree of potential reputational damage to crisis actors. Therefore, an organization’s communication with the public is among the key elements of crisis management. Even though literature deals mainly with crisis communications in the corporate sector, the observations hold true for the public sector as well. Legal responsibility and accountability, as well as public scrutiny, have made those who implement public policy important actors of crisis communications, especially in a sensitive field such as emergency management. However, in practice, there are significant differences in the implementation of crisis communications in various political contexts, not only on a technical, normative or operational level, but also on a more abstract, symbolic, meaning-making and meaning-shaping level.

In Serbia, public institutions and units in charge of crisis/emergency management are undergoing a transformation. The state administration is gradually adopting the concept of public service and the doctrine of “new public management” that argues that ideas used in the private sector may be successfully implemented in the public sector…”

Excerpt from Želimir Kešetovic, Predrag Marić, and Vladimir Ninkovic, Communicating in a Crisis, per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  10, No. 2, 2020: 46-53.

Želimir Kes̆etović is a graduate of STACS 2000, serves on the Faculty of the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Predrag Marić is the assistant minister of interior for the Republic of Serbia.

Vladimir Ninković is a member of the faculty of security studies at the University of Belgrade, Serbia.


This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.