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MEDIA ENGAGEMENT FOR EVD RISK COMMUNICATIONS December 2014 1 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE.

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Presentation on theme: "MEDIA ENGAGEMENT FOR EVD RISK COMMUNICATIONS December 2014 1 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE."— Presentation transcript:

1 MEDIA ENGAGEMENT FOR EVD RISK COMMUNICATIONS December RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE

2 2 Objectives To ensure participants understand the role of the media for EVD risk communications in preparedness and control stages To ensure that participants know how to respond to media enquiries, should an event occur 2 December 2014

3 3 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Media in emergencies Communication with the public must be seen as a component of the public health effort, with media being a key channel Public health emergencies are generally high ‐ profile events. As such, the demand for information from the public and media during a health emergency is likely to exceed normal dissemination capacities. 3 December 2014

4 4 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Objectives of media communications The key objectives of health emergency communications are to build trust, to enable and empower populations to adopt protective measures, to reduce confusion and to facilitate enhanced surveillance. 4 December 2014

5 5 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Pros and Cons of media engagement ProsCons Creates an informed publicComplications if correct information is not conveyed Translates technical information into lay language Can fuel public anxiety Media have a good perception of what public feeling is If not handled correctly, can be a vehicle for rumors Uses local languageTime consuming for Public Health professionals Far geographical reach 5 Media interest has several implications for EVD control. December 2014

6 6 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Media errors: an example from Sierra Leone 6 “Foreign Ebola Doctors Are Experimenting and Deliberately Spreading the Disease” The fact: EVD patients who die at the health centers in SL are often not seen again by their families due to EVD burial procedures. The Rumor: foreign health workers are killing family members to experiment on their organs. December 2014

7 7 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Key principles in media communications Following these principles will safeguard against media communication errors: building trust announcing early transparency understanding the public planning 7 December 2014

8 8 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Who should engage with media? To ensure that communications are streamlined, as few people as possible! Identified spokespersons at national (Secretary of Health), regional (EID Regional Director) and local levels (Local Chief Execs). (v4 of AO: Implementing Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures on Risk Communication HEPOs and others working in communications Do not feel pressured by media and know who to refer to within your agency, if necessary – always be transparent 8 December 2014

9 9 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Rules of media communications Be first: Provide a statement that your agency is aware of the emergency and is involved in the response. Be right: Start monitoring media for misinformation that must be corrected. Be credible: Tell the media when and where to get updates from your agency. Give facts: Don’t speculate. Ensure partners are saying the same thing. 9 December 2014

10 10 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE Further reading 0MEDIA%20HANDBOOK.pdfwww.who.int/csr/resources/publications/WHO%2 0MEDIA%20HANDBOOK.pdf pdfwww.bt.cdc.gov/cerc/resources/pdf/cerc48hours. pdf 10 December 2014

11 11 RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL MEDICINE 11 RISK COMMUNICATIONS: Communicating RISK not PANIC DECEMBER 2014


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