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Risk Communication Messages and Materials

Risk Communication Messages and Materials. Session 11 Slide Deck. Slide 11- 1. Session Objectives. 11.1 Introduce risk message creation and explain the overarching goal behind the risk message 11.2 List and explain the primary factors driving risk message design

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Risk Communication Messages and Materials

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  1. Risk Communication Messages and Materials Session 11 Slide Deck Session 11 Slide 11-1

  2. Session Objectives 11.1 Introduce risk message creation and explain the overarching goal behind the risk message 11.2 List and explain the primary factors driving risk message design 11.3 Describe how risk message crafting parallels patterns in audience behavior, and perform an exercise in crafting a risk message 11.4 Explain how targeted risk communication materials are created 11.5 Explain what pretesting and adjusting is and discuss why it is an important part of message and materials development Slide 11- Session 11

  3. Risk Communication Purpose • Risk communication seeks to bring about a reduction in risk, related to one or more hazards, among a target population that faces risk from this or these hazards • The communication efforts attempt to elicit some change in audience behavior that results in either a lower likelihood that recipients encounter the hazard, or if they do, reduced consequences as a result (by definition, a reduction in risk) Session 11 Slide 11-

  4. Message Consideration Factors • Overload of communication • The presence of competing information • The competing interests of audience members • Differing perceptions about risk • Personal preferences • The financial, physical and cognitive capacities of audience members • More… Session 11 Slide 11-

  5. Risk Message Goal • Do not lose sight of the primary reason that they are communicating • Always one central purpose, or goal, that is guiding the campaign - focuses on the outcome of all of these individual objectives - namely a reduction or elimination of risk • Any and all risk messages crafted in the course of the campaign must first and foremost work towards this one central goal • “A risk message designed to influence may be judged successful even if it does nothing to add to the audience’s understanding (italics added).” (National Academy of Sciences) Session 11 Slide 11-

  6. Message Requirements • Reach the audience • Capture the attention of the audience • Appear credible to the audience • Convince the audience • Instruct the audience Session 11 Slide 11-

  7. Message Factors • Information • Influence Risk messages must balance these two factors in such a way as to achieve the greatest risk reduction among target audience members Session 11 Slide 11-

  8. Information • Provides an understanding of that topic; is based on facts and data related to the topic • May pertain to any of the following • The source of the hazard’s risk • The likelihood component of the risk • Vulnerability factors associated with the risk • Consequences of exposure or contact with the hazard • Consequences of inaction in the face of risk • Actions that may be taken to prepare for or reduce the risk • Consequences of taking action to reduce the risk • How the risk affects individuals of different demographics Session 11 Slide 11-

  9. Influence • Risk messages influence the actions or behaviors of a target audience through a number of techniques: • Highlighting Facts • Framing information/decisions • Risk comparisons • Persuasive use of facts • Appeals to authority • Appeals to emotion Session 11 Slide 11-

  10. Highlighting Facts • Communicators cannot use all of the information available • Must therefore pick and choose • The information that is chosen, or highlighted, that determines how much influence is exacted • Also relates to the visual aspects of messages / tones of voice Session 11 Slide 11-

  11. Framing • The way information is presented • Presented in a way that guides audience member’s interpretation to be aligned with the communicator • The frame is an intentional manipulation of interpretation Session 11 Slide 11-

  12. Risk Comparisons • Statistical risk can be difficult to understand • Individuals use personal knowledge to make determinations of how severe a risk is: • People they know were impacted • They were impacted • Prevalence in the mass media or movies • Communicators compare poorly understood hazards to more commonly understood ones • Connotations extend as well Session 11 Slide 11-

  13. Persuasive Use of Facts • Risk communicators must pick and choose the facts they will present • Communicators selective in facts chosen, and how those facts are presented • Rhetorical persuasion • Hypothetical ‘counter-arguments’ • Listing supporting statements by number Session 11 Slide 11-

  14. Appeals to Authority • Time is limited • People may look to others to see how they side on or respond to an issue • Spokespersons / endorsers • Do not highlight opposing opinions • Some endorsers may have been paid Session 11 Slide 11-

  15. Appeals to Emotion • Straight facts appeal to intellect, but must also appeal to our emotion • Many emotions may be targeted: • Fear • Pride • Guilt • Anger • Empathy/Sympathy • Community Spirit Session 11 Slide 11-

  16. Social Norms • Implicit or explicit rules that define what behaviors are acceptable or expected within a population, society, or group • Include • Subjective Norms • Injunctive Norms • Descriptive Norms Session 11 Slide 11-

  17. Message Crafting • An art form • Requires a sound understanding of the audience • No message appeals to everyone • Targeting decisions often based on demographics Session 11 Slide 11-

  18. Transtheoretical Model • Individuals make decisions about behavior modifications through a series of behavior-change transitions (“stages of change”): • Precontemplation • Contemplation • Preparation • Action • Maintenance Session 11 Slide 11-

  19. Campaign Materials • Anything that is designed and produced (or acquired) for the purposes of transmitting the risk message • Campaign materials are tools • Designed in such a way as to be effective in communicating with the target population Session 11 Slide 11-

  20. Materials Categories • Printed Items • Recorded materials • Instructional materials • Web-based materials • Other types of materials Session 11 Slide 11-

  21. Events and Activities • Many channels require the planning of participatory events or activities that enable message transmission to occur • Situations that cater to the preferences and communication styles of the target audience in order to allow communicators to engage directly with the individual members of that audience • correspond with the channel and method Session 11 Slide 11-

  22. Pre-Test and Adjust • The creation of messages, and the development of materials, are both based upon many assumptions that communicators have about their audience • Only actual interaction between the audience member and the message or material will give an indication of how effective the message or material is in achieving the stated risk reduction goal Session 11 Slide 11-

  23. Pre-Test Question Examples • What do you think about when you see/hear/read this message? • Which message do you like best, and why? • Which message do you like least, and why? • Which font/color scheme do you like best, and why? • Which font/color scheme do you like least, and why? • Would you be motivated by this message to engage in the prescribed behavior? Session 11 Slide 11-

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