(Washington, DC, September 13, 2021) World-renowned risk communication practitioner Dr. Vincent Covello has launched Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication, an online, video-based course on the principles and tools of risk communication.

Dr. Covello, a nationally and internationally recognized trainer, researcher, consultant and expert in risk communication, reports to have offered the course after receiving frequent requests for widely accessible risk communication training.

Located at the Pathway website (pathwaycommunication.com), the course comprises nine video lectures, nine printable course guides, and supplemental materials.

The videos focus on the foundations of risk communication, tools, trust determination, mental noise, negative dominance, risk perceptions, message maps, cultural diversity, and nonverbal and visual cues.

The Course

Built on science- and research-based principles and techniques, Dr. Covello’s course demonstrates how to communicate effectively in emotionally charged situations where trust and credibility have been compromised.

“I specialize in high-stress, high-concern, high-stakes communication,” said Dr. Covello, “and therefore I’ll usually be brought in when an issue has reached a crisis or critical mass, when it’s difficult to proceed and the client is looking for additional help.”

The course is based largely on two main principles: (1) the rules of communication change in high-stress, high-concern situations, and (2) there are quantifiable limits to the amount of information audiences can retain and process in these situations.

A consultant for the World Health Organization during the Ebola and Zika crises, Dr. Covello has applied his expertise in crisis communications at times when the world was literally at risk.

Having for decades offered in-person, seminar-based training, Dr. Covello is aiming this video-based training at those whose schedules can’t accommodate live training and who benefit from 24/7 access from any location.

Who Benefits from This Training?

Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication has applications for public officials and corporate leaders who address such circumstances as disease outbreaks, natural disasters, terrorist threats, company layoffs and product recalls.

The principles of risk communication, however, can be applied at every level, whether communicating with coworkers, peers in any field, life partners, or children and other relations.

The training instills best practices, provides a refresher of major principles, adds to the participant’s knowledge base, and validates what the participant already knows.

The training synthesizes the knowledge contained in nearly 8,000 articles and 2,000 books on the subject.

“If you follow the best practices described in this course,” said Dr. Covello, “you’ll gain the tools, theories and understanding for becoming a more effective communicator in high-stress situations.”

A Brief History of Risk Communication

In 1956, Princeton University’s Dr. George Miller, often known as the father of psycho-linguistics, wrote about the psychological and physiological effects of stress in his groundbreaking work, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information” (Psychological Review).

Dr. Miller’s work influenced, for example, the length of phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and tweets, as well as the determination of three digits for 911 emergency dialing.

Pioneers in the field include Paul Ekman, a psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. Ekman made advancements in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions, creating an “atlas of emotions” with more than ten thousand facial expressions.

Peter M. Sandman has earned a reputation as one of the preeminent risk communication speakers and consultants in the United States, and he is the creator of the “Risk = Hazard + Outrage” formula for risk communication. His focus areas include outrage management, precaution advocacy, and crisis communication.

The Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, M. Granger Morgan has conducted extensive research in science, technology and public policy, focusing on energy, electric power, environmental systems, climate change, the adoption of new technologies, and risk analysis.

Dr. Covello himself has authored or edited over 25 books and over 75 published articles on risk assessment, management and communication.

Pathway to Risk Communication training was developed as a collaboration between Dr. Covello, the Center for Risk Communication (of which Dr. Covello is the founder and director), and Throughline, a creative consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC.

For more information about the training, visit the Pathway to Risk Communication website or contact info@pathwaycommunication.com.


About Dr. Vincent Covello

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Vincent Covello has held numerous positions in academia and government, including Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Clinical Medicine at Columbia University. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Dr. Covello was a senior scientist at the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, DC, a study director at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and the director of the Risk Assessment Program at the National Science Foundation.

About the Center for Risk Communication

Pioneers in the development and application of advanced communication methods, the Center for Risk Communication specializes in effective communication strategies during high-stress, emotionally charged situations. The center’s science-based solutions are practical, applicable, and effective. At the center, senior consultants assess, guide, train, and develop tailored communication solutions that strengthen organizations.

About Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication

Pathway to Risk, High-Concern, and Crisis Communication is an internet-accessible, video-based training program for communicating effectively in emotionally charged situations where trust and credibility have been compromised. In this course, Dr. Vincent Covello shares guidelines for helping programs, providers and individuals communicate risk information clearly and effectively.

About Throughline

Throughline uses a human-centered design approach to listen and understand to client requirements to gain valuable insights and design impactful solutions. With over 15 years of baselining, Throughline is dedicated to humanizing enterprises with communications, technology, experiences and strategy. More information about Throughline may be found at Throughline.com.