Presentation on theme: "IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency EPR-Public Communications L-015 Challenges in Public Communications."— Presentation transcript:
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency EPR-Public Communications L-015 Challenges in Public Communications
IAEA Stress Uncertainty and danger create stress. Stressed people think less clearly; Information needs to be direct and clear; Repeat things; People focus on what they hear first and last;
IAEA Factors influencing behavior Some cause inadequate perception of threat; Some influence message reception and acceptance; These need to be managed for effective communications;
IAEA Rumours People in uncertain situation seeking sensible explanations; Information in circulation based on ambiguity, chaos and possible threat helps people cope and make sense of danger; May be intentional or hostile.
IAEA Rumour control Continue to provide frequent and complete information to the public; If necessary, organize a rumour control centre, for detecting, following, and responding to rumours; PIOs should be trained to cope with rumours. Take into account what kind of rumours would be the most devastating for your organization. Study similar rumours; Build strong and positive relationships with the public so that rumours may be doubted if not rejected; Ensure good internal communication within your organization, so that it does not itself become a fertile ground for rumour growth.
IAEA Rumour control Reiterate facts through official information dissemination; Even acknowledging a rumour may add to its spread; Begin rumour control as soon as possible; Neglect a rumour only if it is harmless or will fade by itself.
IAEA Rumour stages Cause: uncertainty and anxiety Objective: prevention Actions: provide essential information to remove uncertainty StartAssessmentSpreadEnd Cause: lack of trust and involvement Objective: prevention Actions: confirm facts and truth; open communication channels Cause: repetition and changing messages Objective: bring under control Actions: publish denial providing accurate information Cause: lack of relevance and credibility Objective: control and stop repetition Actions: preserve truth; assess rumour control; be alert for repetitions
IAEA False alarms A warning issued without a real danger – great problem in risk communications; Repeated false alarms reduce credibility of warnings and issuing organization; Caused by rumours, mistakes, misunderstandings and changes in events.
IAEA Managing hostile situations Radiation emergencies can lead to public anger and hostility; Environmental issues raise strong emotions; Hostility is directed at organizational representatives; Bad management leads to mistrust and erosion of credibility.
IAEA Tips for managing hostile situations Acknowledge hostility; Control apprehension; Listen carefully; Be prepared; Communicate empathy and care; Track messages; Timely, factual communications secure trust and counteract hostility.