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Every Day is a Crisis: Health Communications in a Pandemic

From Thomas Graham and Dr. Vanila Singh writing in O’Dwyer’s…

During a crisis, audiences aren’t looking so much for someone to blame as they’re looking for someone to take responsibility. They’re also looking for someone to restore a sense of calm through offering reasoned, sensible solutions. This takes honesty, transparency, a firm grasp of the situational facts and leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly eschews such common-sense crisis communications advice. We’re fighting a silent, relatively unknown adversary, a novel virus. Highly divided factions get mired down in political fighting about responsibility, which does more to arouse fear, anger and panic than abate it. That begets another crisis within a crisis.

As healthcare communications experts and healthcare leaders, what can you do to lead the public through this morass?

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