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When health, safety, or environmental risks take center stage, communicating risk information can be a daunting challenge. The increased visibility of global terrorism and other catastrophic emergencies underscores the potential for human tragedy- along with economic, social, and political consequences. Communication must be targeted, understandable, and effective without inadvertently provoking hostility and mistrust. For 10 years, Risk Communication, a handbook of strategies and guidance for conveying risk ...
When health, safety, or environmental risks take center stage, communicating risk information can be a daunting challenge. The increased visibility of global terrorism and other catastrophic emergencies underscores the potential for human tragedy- along with economic, social, and political consequences. Communication must be targeted, understandable, and effective without inadvertently provoking hostility and mistrust. For 10 years, Risk Communication, a handbook of strategies and guidance for conveying risk information effectively, has proved to be a valuable resource on areas such as current laws, stakeholder participation methods, and working with the news media.
This significantly expanded third edition contains all new sections on communicating about acts of bioterrorism and other emergencies, developing messages, and using facilitated deliberation and alternative dispute resolution methods. Sections on using technology in communication, choosing visuals, understanding stigma and privacy issues, and evaluating communication results have been expanded to include the latest methods and research-driven examples.
A valuable resource for 10 years, Risk Communication is divided into five self-contained parts: (1) Background information on basic theories and practices, (2) Planning a communication effort, (3) Putting risk communication into action, (4) Evaluating risk communication efforts, and (5) Communicating risk during and after an emergency.
|2||Approaches to communicating risk||13|
|3||Laws that mandate risk communication||29|
|4||Constraints to effective risk communication||47|
|6||Principles of risk communication||95|
|7||Determine purpose and objectives||115|
|8||Analyze your audience||123|
|9||Develop your message||143|
|10||Determine the appropriate methods||157|
|11||Set a schedule||171|
|12||Develop a communication plan||181|
|14||Visual representation of risks||213|
|16||Working with the media||271|
|19||Evaluating risk communication efforts||375|
|20||Risk communication before, during, and after emergencies||389|
Posted October 1, 2013
When a few years ago the new particle accelerator was scheduled to open at CERN one of the journalists asked a certain CERN Physicist about the rumors that the new powerful machine would create a tiny black hole. The Physicist, being the exact science type of guy, gave the journalist the estimate of such an event, which turned out to be so small that the exponential notation was required to express it. Unfortunately, most of the public is not familiar with such a notation, and even those who are have hard time conceptually grasping numbers that are so small. Under most circumstances this does not create much of a problem in our day to day lives (such numbers are, almost by definition, entirely outside of our normal experience), but as black holes have become a part of our intellectual culture, this entirely true but largely irrelevant statement by the honest Physicist became a cause of a lot of alarm and even panic in the popular press. This lead CERN to require of its entire staff to from then on say that the chance of a “black hole event” happening was exactly zero. The moral of this story is that risk communication is a very important subject, and there are the right ways and the wrong ways of going about it.
Most of the high-risk situations and circumstances don’t involve such exotic objects as black holes and particle accelerators. They primarily involve environmental, safety and health risks, and this handbook is an excellent source of ideas and best practices involving those risks.
The book is very well written and it has primarily practitioners in mind. It provides many useful and to-the-point tips and suggestions, including several checklists and other practical materials. Throughout the book there are many important examples and case studies designed to help the reader with the understanding of this subject. The book can be used as a reference, stand-alone resource, or as a textbook for a class on this subject. It covers a lot of material and it references an impressive amount of primary material. The book can even be of some use to all public relations officials and practitioners, even in the areas that are far removed from its intended audience.