Effective communication during an influenza pandemic: the value of using a crisis and emergency risk communication framework

Health Promot Pract. 2008 Oct;9(4 Suppl):13S-17S. doi: 10.1177/1524839908325267.


During a crisis, an open and empathetic style of communication that engenders the public's trust is the most effective when officials are attempting to galvanize the population to take a positive action or refrain from a harmful act. Although trust is imperative in a crisis, public suspicions of scientific experts and government are increasing for a variety of reasons, including access to more sources of conflicting information, a reduction in the use of scientific reasoning in decision making, and political infighting. Trust and credibility--which are demonstrated through empathy and caring, competence and expertise, honesty and openness, and dedication and commitment--are essential elements of persuasive communication.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Consumer Health Information*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Mass Media
  • Trust
  • United States / epidemiology