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Information Crisis during a Pandemic

A focus on transparency and concise data in healthcare

As a second wave of the silent destroyer slams against the fragile walls of our societal defences, it’s time to blow the sirens louder. Health centers, and the news media cannot remain as the sole reliable source of information. The alerts cautions, and helping hands need to get out on the public platforms louder and bolder. We need multi-platforms of information that are transparent, highly accessible and reliable.

WHO incorporates some of the core principles of effective and transparent information in its communication activities. The framework of its communications rests on information that is:

● Accessible

● Actionable

● Credible and trusted

● Relevant

● Timely

● Understandable.

These rudimentary principles also serve as the backbone of its entire activities and media materials like press conferences, news releases, social media messages; web-based fact sheets, commentaries, infographics, feature stories, Q&As etc. Videos, Intranet content for WHO staff, media advisories, outreach activities etc. also play by these basic principles of communication.

The Need for a Transparent Public Communication

Public health emergencies, over the years, have increasingly acknowledged the inevitable role that public communication plays in reaching out to the masses and promoting core public health objectives.

Efficient risk communication is a major component in managing outbreaks. It is also mandatory in reducing the impact of health, economic, social and psychological factors during the epidemics.

During a potential health threat that puts the public under high risk, treatment options could be limited, direct interventions could delay and resources could be few. Effective and transparent communication that assures support, and offers guidance and advice becomes the most available and important tool in managing such risks.

Pro-active communication prepares the public to adopt cautious behaviours. Like how a rigorous media campaign on social distancing, sanitisation, and reduced social life in the past few months built public awareness to abide by government rules and precautionary measures.

Such precise communication regarding a crisis facilitates increased disease surveillance, lowers fear and confusion and calls for better use of resources, resulting in effective public response.

Effective Channels for Communication during Public Health Emergencies

Transparent communication also serves to promote core public health objectives and addresses the economic, political and socio-psychological imperatives that are associated with public health emergencies.

Reliable channels must be effectively utilized for distributing materials and disseminating messages. Depending on the public’s access and preference to different channels of communication, various mass media channels, like print (leaflets, billboards, posters) television, Radio, Internet etc can be utilised to strengthen the propaganda during emergencies. Web platforms like websites, Microblogging platforms or other social media platforms provide a dynamic and concise form of information. Web formats allow mass circulation of information over a short period.

Such transparent, precise, and regular flow of information could help build trust and dependability among the public.

Creating Effective Content for Public Health Information

To generate effective content that abides by these rules of transparency, readability, relevance, and reliability, you may need to employ experienced hands that are well-versed in Content creation.

Developing media or web content that speaks to the common man with clarity and precision, regarding the ongoing crisis is a grave task.

It is always worth the effort to rely on the experience and versatility of professional Content Service Providers who are familiar with and adept in churning engaging content for various media platforms. Content Writing Service Providers who have experience with diverse industries including healthcare will be able to provide you with informative and target audience –oriented content that is SEO optimised for all web platforms.

As the pandemic enforces a new normal, it becomes important for users to have access to updated and transparent information. Healthcare institutions can ensure that with a comprehensive content strategy that adheres to the same.

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