As you know, the expertise of Rhetorical Craft is communication on sensible issues. Let us face one of them : communicating after a terrorist attack. The three principles I am about to give you are applicable to formal as well as to informal interactions.
After a large-scale traumatizing event, all of us can play a role in overcoming the crisis. To do so, here are the principles you should keep in mind:
(1) The aim of a terrorist attack is to spread fear
(2) Toughness must be in actions, not in words
(3) The main enemies of terrorism is not some other kind of extremism but intelligence and subtlety
Strong actions have to be taken to fight against terrorism, not doubts about it. However, let us face it: most of us are not going to take guns and to fight. Every time you speak in public to say things like “now it is time for tough actions”, well, you should be acting and not speaking. In addition, words coming out of anger do not produce any good. On the other hand, if you reassure others, if you are able to make them see the sun after the rain, terrorists loose.
To sum up: keep calm, kind and smart. This is the way you can make people around you feel better. This is the way you can win the battle with tools that actually are in your hands.