Coronavirus: Risk Communication

Within the framework of the coronavirus pandemic, we provide a number of essential advice for communication by governments in their jurisdictions, responsible for making decisions, coordinating actions, and reporting them to the public.

1.             Legal instruments are not an excellent form of communication (laws, decrees, resolutions), just a way of supplementary information. They were not drafted to report pedagogically and massively.

2.             Legal provisions cannot circulate before ads are made.

3.             All the press and the public are aware of what a government says/agrees on in real-time.

4.             DO NOT announce what you are going to publish, DO NOT announce conferences beforehand: do them!

5.             In terms of style, DO NOT use the «potential» (I would decide, close, dispose of), not even in the record, because they become news that then must be denied. What is communicated is certainty and decision when it is.

6.             It should be prohibited and self-regulated that any authority may have an opinion. Any hierarchical opinion is automatically formalized, and if the government makes a decision to the contrary, it remains a dangerous contradiction as well as disallowing.

7.             In the case of the national government, it cannot afford to allow its primary radio sources to contradict and fall into disrepute.

8.             President Duque’s policy is pressured and anxious about how society sees its actions, but if in future statements it does not control the ego, it will not only look bad but will also be producing undue communication that has nothing to do with what it needs to communicate the risk.

9.             Risk communication is not routine communication. Eliminate slogans.

10.          Remove servile and higher-superior references («by the decision of…»).

11.          Eliminate communication acts with decorating photos (family, protocol, party). 12.          Finally, before recommending prevention methods, you should know and apply them. Don’t let it happen as it happened to President Ivan Duque, who gave professorship of how to take care of the virus and how to act in case he had a relative with flu symptoms in the home; the representative coughed in his hand passing over the recommendations he was giving.

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