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After the Pandemic Effective Risk Communication Laura Blaske Laura.blaske@doh.wa.gov 360-236-4070. Risk Communication. What is it? Lessons learned during H1N1. The importance of planning. Moving forward. The trusted source. Which is true:

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slide1

After the Pandemic

Effective Risk Communication

Laura Blaske

Laura.blaske@doh.wa.gov 360-236-4070

risk communication
Risk Communication
  • What is it?
  • Lessons learned during H1N1.
  • The importance of planning.
  • Moving forward.
the trusted source
The trusted source.

Which is true:

  • Cockroaches can live for a month with their heads cut off?
  • Lemmings will follow their leader, even over a cliff?
warning
Warning!
  • Do not use while sleeping.Sears hair dryer
  • Fits one head.Shower cap box
  • Do not turn upside down.Bottom of Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert box
  • Product will be hot after heating.Marks & Spencer bread pudding
cut through the noise
Cut through the noise.

Be First. Be Right. Be Credible.

  • Provide clear and consistent information.
  • Accessibility.
  • Empower people to make good choices.
what is risk communication
What is Risk Communication?
  • Communicating effectively and accurately during a issue of high concern to allow individuals and the community to understand the risks and…
    • Cope
    • Make informed decisions
    • Understand sensitive issues
crisis or catastrophe
Crisis or Catastrophe
  • We can’t stop every crisis.
  • What can we control?
  • In a crisis, how can you help make the difference between:
      • Danger or Safety?
      • Mistrust or Compliance?
      • Fear or Empowerment?
      • Uncertainty or Choices?
assessing personal risk
Assessing Personal Risk
  • Risk communication helps people assess personal risk…
      • Most people over- or under-estimate personal risks.
      • A risk communication plan can help strike a balance.
what influences risk perception
What influences risk perception?
  • Is it familiar?
  • Vulnerable populations?
  • Easy to understand?
  • Controllable?
  • Intentional or naturally occurring?
what determines credibility in high concern settings
What Determines Credibility in High Concern Settings?

Honesty/openness

15-20%

Competence/

Expertise

15-20%

Listening/caring/

Empathy

50%

All other factors

15-20%

Source: Randall Hyer, National Immunization Conference, 2005

confusing risk
Confusing Risk
  • Assessing risk is emotional.
  • Risk is often hard to comprehend: 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 1 million?
  • Risk needs a “face.” Connection to the audience.
consider your audience
Consider your audience
  • Clients and community members
  • Staff and co-workers
  • Stakeholders and partners
  • Media
  • People who serve the general public (teachers, childcare providers, etc.)
  • Emergency response workers, law enforcement
  • Civic and political leaders (local, state, and national)
  • Family and friends
common concerns
Common Concerns
  • Am I/Is my family safe?
  • What have you found that will affect me or my loved ones?
  • What can we do to protect ourselves?
  • Who or what caused the problem?
  • Can you fix it?
h1n1 challenges

Vaccine availability

  • Different messages
  • Length/severity of event
  • Target audience
H1N1 Challenges
slide19

Web

  • Print
  • Direct outreach
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Contacts
  • Twitter
top messages
Top Messages

Q: What would you say were the top one or two main messages from the ads you saw or heard?

health decisions
Health Decisions

Q: Did the ads provide information to help you make health decisions?

reasons
Reasons

Q: Why haven’t you gotten vaccinated?

common concerns1
Common Concerns
  • Am I/Is my family safe?
  • What have you found that will affect me or my loved ones?
  • What can we do to protect ourselves?
  • Who or what caused the problem?
  • Can you fix it?
consistency
Consistency
  • Communication Chain:
      • Answering phones.
      • Printed information.
      • Public contact positions.
      • Interactions with stakeholders.
      • Information on Web site.
      • Social media.
in an issue of high concern
In an issue of high concern…

Everyone in the organization is a spokesperson.

first messages in a crisis
First Messages in a Crisis
  • An expression of empathy
  • What you know-confirmed facts and action steps
  • What you don’t know
  • What’s the process
  • Statement of commitment
  • Where people can get more information
answer concerns but don t
Answer concerns but don’t…
  • Say more than you know.
  • Give your opinion.
  • Over-reassure.
first messages
First Messages
  • Technical jargon
  • Condescending or judgmental phrases
  • Attacks
  • Promises or guarantees

NO…

media the public will edit messages
Media & the public will edit messages…
  • “Beam me up, Scotty.”
  • “The British are coming.”

…so keep it short.

short isn t easy
Short isn’t easy…

…always test & check

a few things to remember
A few things to remember…

What is important to remember when developing first messages?

  • During a crisis, a person’s ability to listen to and understand information goes down
  • Use simple words and phrases
  • People forget 80% + of the information they hear
  • People remember the first and last things said
what you say
What you say…
  • Use of N95 respirators or facemasks generally is not recommended for workers in non-healthcare occupational settings for general work activities.  For specific work activities that involve contact with people who have ILI, such as escorting a person with ILI, interviewing a person with ILI, providing assistance to an individual with ILI, the following are recommended:
  • workers should try to maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from the person with ILI;
  • workers should keep their interactions with ill persons as brief as possible;
  • the ill person should be asked to follow good cough etiquette and hand hygiene and to wear a facemask, if able, and one is available;
  • workers at increased risk of severe illness from influenza infection (see footnote 3 of table 1) should avoid people with ILI (possibly by temporary reassignment); and,
  • where workers cannot avoid close contact with persons with ILI, some workers may choose to wear a facemask or N95 respirator on a voluntary basis.
be first
Be first.

Remember, developing and communicating

first messages DOES NOT mean having all

the answers.

It DOES mean showing that someone is in

charge, and that response is underway.

be right
Be right.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Tell people what you’re doing to get the facts.
  • Explain the situation in a way that the general public can understand –
      • Avoid jargon.
      • Avoid technical terms.
be credible
Be credible.
  • Show empathy.
  • Take concerns seriously.
  • Avoid humor.
  • Don’t over-reassure or try to tell people more than you know.
is the glass half full
Is the glass half full?
  • Are you the trusted source?
resources
Resources

Washington State Department of Health:

  • Emergency communication toolkit: www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/toolkit