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Zika CERC Discussions

This information is for historic and reference purposes only.  Content has not been updated since the last reviewed date at the bottom of this page.
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From May through August 2016, CDC hosted a series of weekly Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) teleconferences related to Zika. Presented by Dr. Barbara Reynolds, senior advisor for CERC at CDC, these calls aimed to address communication concerns and needs of state, local, and territorial health department and partner organization communicators.

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Zika CERC Discussion

August 16 – Zika CERC Summary

In this last week of the Zika Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication discussions, we will summarize the six basic principles of CERC and concepts that have been discussed throughout the series.

August 9 – CERC, Zika, and Cultural Competence

In this week’s Zika Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication discussion we will explore the role of culture in communication and how to accommodate multi-cultural community communication needs during a public health emergency. Not all differences matter, but some may and knowing when and how to address those differences can help ensure that the right message at the right time from the right person or organization can save lives or reduce harm.

August 2 – CERC, Zika, and First Local Transmission

The speed at which you communicate new information to the public about a threat is a marker of your organization’s preparedness. We will share CERC concepts related to the principle: be first, and facilitate a discussion with participants as it relates to Zika.

July 26 – CERC, Zika, and Working with the Media

During this week’s Zika Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication discussion we will explore how to work with the media during a crisis. Learn what to expect when the world is directing its media attention on your community. We will share media dos and don’ts for your official response.

July 19 – CERC, Zika, Stigma, and Community Hardiness

During this Zika CERC discussion we’ll explore the concept of stigma during public health emergencies and briefly review what contributes to community hardiness. A community’s ability to overcome challenges depends on its social, political, and fiscal resources.

July 12 – CERC, Zika, and CDC's Community Emergency Response Team

This teleconference will discuss what can be done to prepare in advance of a crisis or emergency, work to be done in the pre-crisis phase. Additionally, we’ll cover surviving the first 48 hours of a crisis and review key risk communication points/concepts, CERC principles, and steps to take when moving from the pre-crisis to crisis phase.

June 28 – CERC, Zika, and Preparing Spokesperson

The right person at the right time with the right message can save lives and reduce harm. The spokesperson personifies the organization. We will discuss practical steps to help ensure spokespersons are equipped to respond to the public and media during public health emergencies.

June 21 – CERC, Zika, and Community Engagement

In public health crises the coordinated actions of community members before and during an emergency can help response organizations protect the well-being and health of the population. The six foundational Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) principles can guide that interaction to build resilience. In this week’s Zika CERC discussion we will explore dos and donts of community engagement and how to address strong emotional reactions among community members in a reasoned and respectful way.

June 14 – CERC, Zika, Male Travelers, and Social Pressure

Public health recommendations are offered in a social context. Whether people will accept and act on public health recommendations depends on a number of factors. Social pressures may encourage or discourage positive action. This teleconference will explore social pressures related to new public health risks, and discuss challenges for travelers this summer.

June 7 – CERC, Risk Attributes, and Pregnancy

People perceive some risks as more risky than science experts do. Understanding risk perceptions when facing a new, emerging threat like Zika virus may refocus your health messages. We will explore what attributes of risk cause more concern and why. Join the discussion on risk attributes, risk perceptions and pregnancy.

May 31 – CERC, Zika, and Clear Communication Techniques

Communicating clearly to help audiences understand and act on messages is a core health communication principle. Communicating clearly during a crisis or emergency is even more important when audiences may react emotionally rather than logically and can be too distracted, confused, or overwhelmed to process information about protective actions. We will share key clear communication techniques as they apply to Zika.

May 24 – CERC, Zika, and First Local Transmission

The speed at which you communicate new information to the public about a threat is a marker of your organization’s preparedness. We will share CERC concepts related to the principle: be first, and facilitate a discussion with participants as it relates to Zika.

May 17 – CERC, Zika, and Uncertainty

The uncertainty that is inherent in many public health emergencies, especially early in the event, will challenge even the greatest communicator. Early in a crisis, typically there are more questions than answers. The full magnitude of the problem is unknown. Even, what people can do to protect themselves may be unclear. We will share CERC concepts on uncertainty and facilitate a discussion with participants on Zika and uncertainty.
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