Pandemic Risk Communications: Building Capacity in International Media and Stakeholder Relations (Canada)

posted Jun 3, 2014, 3:13 AM by Admin Web

Pandemic influenza presents a potential threat to human health and global economic prosperity, particularly to economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Preparedness is essential for an effective response to an outbreak of pandemic influenza. This proposal seeks funding for a two-day capacity building workshop in pandemic risk communications focusing on international media and stakeholder relations.

The purpose of the workshop is to help participants develop media relations skills and techniques that are consistent with risk communications principles to effectively deal with international media (such as the CNN) in the anticipation of and during an avian or pandemic influenza outbreak. Participants will demonstrate tangible improvement in their abilities to communicate key risk communications messages, and they will gain a deeper understanding of the role of international media and its impact on the domestic risk management of a disease outbreak.

A critical component of preparedness is risk communication. Risk communications occurs before and during an outbreak. Before an outbreak, risk communications enable decision-makers to 1) assess the risk issue; 2) identify those who are impacted by, or who perceive themselves to be at most risk; and, 3) develop appropriate communications messages and strategies to help mitigate against the risk. During an outbreak, risk communications principles assist decision-makers, who are often key spokespeople, to 1) address fears and concerns in a way that is empathetic, 2) encourage appropriate behaviors which will help mitigate the risk, and 3) communicate key messages and information to key partners and stakeholders.

The workshop will be held on the margins of SOM III, June 22-July 3, 2007 in Cairns, Australia and will directly respond to the Ministerial commitment in the Action Plan on the Prevention and Response to Avian and Influenza Pandemics to develop effective partnerships with the media to exchange accurate information on public health and animal husbandry practices.