The aim of this article is to explore interpersonal communication competence needed by crisis communication and management experts when co-operating with citizen groups in response to emergencies. Moreover, the purpose is to understand how response organizations can further develop this crisis communication competence and so contribute to the functioning of response networks. The research task is approached qualitatively by eliciting crisis communication and management experts’ (n
= 33) perceptions of the interpersonal communication competence response organizations needs when co-operating with citizen groups. The data were gathered via an international online questionnaire using a method referred to as “thematic writing” and consist of written responses to open-ended questions on what constitutes the core of crisis communication competence and what aspects of it need more attention. The research findings indicate that co-producing safety with citizen groups demands crisis communication competence related to message production, message reception, and interaction between experts and citizen groups. In addition, the findings clarify what areas of crisis communication competence need to be further developed to facilitate co-operation between experts and citizen groups. However, the authors suggest that crisis communication competence should not be seen solely as a characteristic of individual crisis communicators but approached as a networked and co-created area of competence.
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