New Report Shares Tips for Effective COVID-19 Messaging

May 8, 2020

Credible, honest crisis communication is essential to keeping people safe and well informed.

This week, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota released its second report in a series surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The report provides key principles from risk communication experts Peter M. Sandman, PhD, and Jody Lanard, MD, for government and public health leaders, communications professionals, and others responsible for COVID-19 messaging to the public.

The six tips to keep top of mind when communicating are:

  1. Don’t over-reassure.
  2. Proclaim uncertainty.
  3. Validate emotions—your audience’s and your own.
  4. Give people things to do.
  5. Admit and apologize for errors.
  6. Share dilemmas.

Future reports in the "COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint" series—made possible with support from the U of M’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Bentson Foundation—will address testing, surveillance, contact tracing, supply chains, epidemiology issues, and other key topics.

If you would like more guidance on communicating with faculty and staff, check out 7 Tips for Internal Communicators in Times of Uncertainty, or contact Christie Wells or Meagan Pierluissi in University Relations.

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