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RC Newsletter

The Risk Communicator

Issue 1 (August 20, 2008)

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Photo of peopleUnderstanding Your Audiences

During a disaster, effective emergency risk communication can mitigate many potential negative health effects. Even though the emergency itself may increase public attention to related health threats, it is critical to know and understand audience needs, concerns, and expectations so that they notice, attend to, and act upon your emergency public health messages. In this first issue of The RC, we explore trust, distribution channels, and stakeholders' influence on emergency risk communication.

In this issue’s research summary series, authors Deborah Glik and Craig Lefebvre

  • Provide an overview of different research areas and practical applications that have shaped current risk communication theory and practice in the field of public health.

  • Encourage communicators to embrace new technologies as methods for extending audience reach.

The academic spotlight article, “Messaging Is a Matter of Trust,” highlighting work from the University of Georgia Southern Center for Communication, Health, and Poverty (UGA SCCHP),

  • Outlines important factors leading to trust among minority audiences.

  • Provides implications for message delivery.

“On the Frontlines of the California Wildfires”

  • Offers a practitioner’s perspective about real-time emergency message strategy and dissemination.

"Social Media and Your Emergency Communication Efforts"

  • Examines "interacting" with audiences using new media channels.

A list of health observances

  • Includes timely suggestions about messaging to remind the public and stakeholders to prepare for emergencies.

A quarterly calendar of training opportunities

  • Provides links to upcoming conferences, workshops, and training events of interest to risk communicators.


Clearly, activities and recommendations to help risk communicators understand their audiences continually grow and evolve. This set of articles presents only some aspects. If you would like to share your ideas about how to reach audiences with emergency risk communication messages, please e-mail riskcomm@cdc.gov.

The RC

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Page last modified August 18, 2008



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