Avoid traps in risk communication

As an individual who closely follows pandemic communication, I have been observing some communication “traps” that the communicators fall into. During my research on this, I found excellent advice from the US CDC website with regard to this topic. I am sharing relevant pieces from that post here.

This post details out dos and don’ts when we communicate events related to an outbreak.

DosDo not s
define technical terms in plain languageUse language that even a small section cannot understand
Ask whether you have made the information clear.Do not assume that everything is clear.
use examples or analogues to explain a complex topicDo not assume they understand everything.
Focus on facts at handDo not speculate
Promise only what you can deliver Do not make promises you cannot deliver
Take responsibility of your share of the problem; use empathyDo not blame or shame others

Author: Prasantha De Silva

A specialist in Community Medicine board-certified in Sri Lanka and a research analyst in Canada

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