After the announcement of the Coronavirus outbreak, it can be said that there was a great wave of fear arousal around the world. That was not the first time that the whole world had a massive feeling of fear, it happened before related to health risks. Not only the health risks but also the environmental risks like storms, earthquakes or other natural disasters may again cause such a big impact on the whole world without causing the same amount of risk. That kind of misunderstanding in the communication over that risk factors has great significance and directly related to the apprehension of society.
Thus, there is a sub-branch in Communication Science called Risk Communication which offers some strategies for the public announces to reduce the tragedy due to anxiety. Increasingly, in today’s societies, risk intensification due to nature and human-induced hazards seen in various degrees and species is a significant threat to nature, social life, sustainable development and productivity of the world. Factors that pose a threat to reduce or eliminate the vulnerability of society and individuals due to exposure to risks; assessment, evaluation, prevention of risks and reduced potential harms are needed. Risk communication studies among the studies carried out in the risk analysis process are vital for all other studies on risk-related issues to carry out and execute communication activities. Risk communication studies are carried out in the process of communication and are based on communication science theories and models, and therefore it is emerging as a study area of communication science. The area of risk communication also continues its development extensively, being found in the influence of other social sciences, which it is closely related to.
What should be done
The need for systematic and continuous execution of risk communication makes it mandatory to create strategies in this field. Those strategies are created by determining the objectives, principles, plans, and programs that will guide risk communication studies. The most important problem in this regard is ‘how to achieve effective and efficient results with strategies’. While developing a professional strategy in an area, the use of theories and models or approaches that try to explain relationships and events in that field can lead to different results. As a result of the combination of theories and models that are also guiding the development of professional risk communication strategies and explaining the results and relationships obtained, and those associated with each other are characterised as professional strategy approaches.
To sum up, in such a crisis as in Coronovirus which involves risks to public health, the official announcements and news with the consultation of risk communication strategies would be more appropriate in the name of taking responsibility to differentiate the fact and opinion.
To get further information about the risk communication, here is a short video that might help you: