On its most basic level, risk communication is communication that conveys information in an easy-to-understand manner so that people can make informed decisions.

As such, risk communication entails tools and techniques that can be used by entities as big as governments and multinational corporations—or as small as the family unit.

Entities Using Risk Communication

Dr. Vincent Covello teaches organizations and individuals about risk, high-concern, and crisis communication. A world-renowned practitioner, Dr. Covello has served as an adviser to the following organizations, among many others.

World Health Organization

WHO works worldwide to “promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.”

US Department of Health and Human Services

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a cabinet-level executive branch department of the U.S. federal government. It protects the health of all Americans and provides essential human services.

US Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government. Charged with environmental protection, the agency also works with industry on pollution prevention and energy conservation.

US Department of Agriculture

The USDA provides “leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.”

The vision of the USDA is to “provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.”

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The mission of the CDC is “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the US. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”

Pathway Prompt: Name an example of risk communication by a big entity. Name an example of risk communication you’ve seen at a much smaller level, such as in your day-to-day life.

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 info@pathwaycommunication.com.

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.