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Two Greater Manchester Police officers standing in front of an 'I Love Manchester' mural

Public Communications Leadership: #CrisisComms and the Manchester Arena Attack

Jill S Russell and Pablo de Orellana
RUSI Journal, 9 December 2020
UK Counter-terrorism, Tackling Extremism, UK, Emergency Response, Terrorism
Greater Manchester Police's communications strategy is an example of how to respond in the aftermath of an attack.

How can policing communications deny terrorism its desired effect? British police have steadily mobilised social media to reach stakeholders. In May 2017, Greater Manchester Police communications were effective in mitigating communitarian divisions sought by the Islamic State and in inciting empathy, solidarity, feelings of security and police collaboration. Furthermore, by writing and describing the community, events and actors in ways that serve specific priorities, they were able to take advantage of these platforms. In this article, Jill S Russell and Pablo de Orellana deploy historical and discourse analysis approaches to analyse how police communications depicted the event, civic identity, the police force itself and the response.

BANNER IMAGE: The communications efforts of Greater Manchester Police were crafted to promote unity in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombings, May 2017. Courtesy of PA Images/UPI/Mushtaq Mohammed

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