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Zika CERC Discussions

Date:Every Tuesday beginning May 17, 2016

Time:1:00 – 2:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Participate by Phone:

  • 1-800-369-1662 (U.S. Callers)
  • 1-203-827-7082 (International Callers)



Barbara Reynolds, PhD


To address the communication concerns and needs of state, local, and territorial health communicators, as well as partner organizations, CDC is hosting a series of Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) teleconferences related to Zika issues. These teleconferences will be held on a weekly basis beginning Tuesday, May 17, from 1-2 pm (Eastern Time). Each week, a new topic will be presented on a different aspect of CERC.

All calls will be audio recorded and posted below for future access.

Teleconference Presentations

CERC, Zika, and Uncertainty - PowerPoint Slides

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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 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.