Risk communication and community right to know are increasingly important functions of public relations within communities that face a considerable amount of health, safety and environmental risk related to chemical manufacturing. Following Susan G. Hadden’s (1989) claim that community right to know is not only a legal subject but a powerful approach to risk communication and by extension public relations, this research project analyzed, through an ethnographic case study of participant observations (n=193 days), interviews (n=27) and focus groups (n=15), how community residents perceive and construct their awareness and understanding of significant federally mandated and industry initiated community-right-to-know initiatives within risk communication. Findings include a general lack of awareness and understanding of community-right-to-know programs and risk management protocols, with differences among communities, cultures and genders, and the social justification of risks via narratives.
Palenchar, Michael J., "Risk communication and community right to know: A public relations obligation to inform" (2008). School of Advertising and Public Relations Publications and Other Works.