Public Relations in Crisis Communication: Investigating the Practice in the Case of Ministry of Peace during Northern Ethiopia Crisis

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Addis Ababa University


This study aimed to investigate the Public Relations practice on crisis management the case of the Ministry of Peace, Ethiopia. To this end, the researcher tried to investigate the roles and responsibilities of the PR practitioners on crisis communication in Ministry of Peace, the way they strategically communicate to promote peace and stability, and tools deployed to communicate during the Crisis of ENDF at the Northern Ethiopia. The researcher used Situational Crisis Communication Theory of Coombs. The study followed a qualitative research approach and availability sampling technique is used to identify the sources of data for the study. Interview and content analysis were employed as a tool of data collection. Hence, the public relations practitioners in the ministry and the existing communication documents publicized from the ministry are the sources of data. Thematic and textual data analysis methods were applied in the study. The findings showed that during the Crisis at the Northern Ethiopia Ministry of Peace’s Public Relation practitioners produce Positive image building news and statements instead of issues that directly manage the crisis. As the study revealed, the Ministry of Peace Public Relation practitioner work was as if the country is in normal socio-politics contexts; make busy in sharing development related stories except donation news to ENDF and rehabilitation works to the conflict-affected regions. During post crisis period, MoP Public Relations department advocated the rehabilitation efforts focusing on affected areas. Besides, the department did not show expected efforts to deescalate the North Ethiopian crisis happening since November 2020. As the data shown, the Public relation practitioners are active on pre-crisis and post crisis period on the two years Crisis in the Northern Ethiopia. The researcher recommends that the PR department of the Ministry has to work towards maintaining the national peace identifying proactively the crisis prone areas before the outbreak of the crisis, manage the crisis before it goes to worst incidences during the crisis and show roadmaps to build sustainable peace after the crisis. Hence, capacity building and empowerment of the practitioners is an essential element to make the PR department play its expected roles during crisis.



Public Relations, Crisis Management,Ministry of Peace