Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) presented Dr. Vincent Covello with what seemed like an impossible mission: work with a band of scientists, communication professionals and social media specialists and influencers to address misinformation spreading online.
Dr. Covello and his colleagues faced what was termed an infodemic, an epidemic of misinformation. No easy task, especially because more and more people were becoming distrustful of federal agencies, the White House, and organizations such as WHO.
This represented a monumental task. Every day, a massive amount of new information appeared in the scientific literature. Scientific knowledge of COVID-19 was growing exponentially. This created not only a veritable mountain of information to sort through but a landscape ripe for the spread of disinformation.
The methods Dr. Covello and his colleagues used to establish essential processes for dealing with the situation are explored in the case study that opens chapter thirteen of Dr. Covello’s most recent release, Communicating in Risk, Crisis, and High Stress Situations: Evidence-Based Strategies and Practice.
Our previous post previewed the twelfth chapter of Dr. Covello’s must-have resource for risk communicators. Below we’ll look into the thirteenth and final chapter, “Social Media and the Changing Landscape for Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication.”
What You Find Within
The following are the topics covered in Dr. Covello’s book. In the section that follows, we’ll look more in depth at the thirteenth chapter.
- The Critical Role of Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication
- Core Concepts
- An Overview of Risk Communication
- Development of Risk Communication Theory and Practice
- Stakeholder Engagement and Empowerment
- Communicating in a Crisis
- Foundational Principles: Perceptions, Biases, and Information Filters
- Foundational Principles: Trust, Culture, and Worldviews
- Best Practices for Message Development in High Concern Situations
- Communicating Numbers, Statistics, and Technical Information about a Risk or Threat
- Evaluating Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communications
- Communicating with Mainstream News Media
- Social Media and the Changing Landscape for Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication
A Peek Inside Chapter 13: “Social Media and the Changing Landscape for Risk, High Concern, and Crisis Communication”
In this chapter, Dr. Covello explores the benefits and challenges of social media for risk, high concern and crisis communicators. Dr. Covello also sheds light on the following:
- The critical role social media plays in risk, high concern and crisis communication
- Methods for incorporating social media into communication plans
- Tactics for employing social media in risk, high concern and crisis situations
As with each chapter, Dr. Covello concludes with an extensive list of resources ideal for further exploration.
Pathway Prompt: What have been your social media triumphs and challenges in the realm of risk, high concern and crisis communication?
Communicating Effectively When Feelings, Fears, and Facts Collide
More information about risk, high-concern, and crisis communication can be found in Dr. Covello’s video-based course Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication.
This master class introduces communicators to the tools and techniques for communicating effectively—while providing greater insight into why audiences react the way they do during times of stress.
The course comprises nine video lectures and accompanying text modules, plus supplemental materials for putting valuable lessons into practice. More information about the course, including group rates and partnering opportunities, can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Vincent Covello
Dr. Vincent Covello, director of the Center for Risk Communication, is one of the world’s leading experts and practitioners on risk, high-concern, and crisis communication. He is the author of more than 150 articles in scientific journals and the author/editor of more than 20 books.
Covello, Vincent T. Communicating in Risk, Crisis, and High Stress Situations: Evidence-Based Strategies and Practice. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2022.