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Dr. Peter Sandman helps clients through a wide range of public controversies that threaten corporate or government reputation — from oil spills to labor-management battles; from vaccine autism scares to the siting of hazardous waste facilities. In the terms first popularized by Dr. Sandman, these are usually situations where the “hazard” is low, the “outrage” is high, and the core task is outrage management.
Dr. Sandman also works on the other side of risk issues, helping activists arouse concern about serious hazards, for example, and helping companies persuade employees to take safety rules seriously. Here the task is precaution advocacy in a high-hazard, low-outrage situation.
Finally, Dr. Sandman works on crisis communication — terrorist attacks and epidemics, for example — where hazard and outrage are both high and the goal is to help people bear their emotions and take appropriate actions.
A Rutgers University professor from 1977 to 1995, Dr. Sandman founded the Environmental Communication Research Program (ECRP) at Rutgers in 1986, and was its Director until 1992. During that time, ECRP published over 80 articles and books on various aspects of risk communication. In 1995 Dr. Sandman left the university and became a full-time consultant. He received his Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University in 1971.