WHAT IS RISK COMMUNICATION?
Risk communication plays a key role in helping organizations apply the concepts of risk management in their daily operations. It is critical to the success of any organization, especially when it comes to public relations and customer retention. Effective communication must be a two-way channel. This means there must be an audience and a communicator. The communicator must tell the audience about the risks related to a specific hazard. The audience must also provide feedback so that both parties can come up with appropriate mitigation measures.
The main purpose of communicating risks is to inform people about the potential hazards related to a particular condition or activity. These hazards may be directly linked to a person, community or property. It involves a two-way exchange of information between the parties likely to be affected. The communicator should engage all of them and respond to questions and concerns. Communicators apply practical and scientific principles to interact with both parties effectively, especially during controversial situations.
Components of Risk Communication
There are three components of communicating risks. The first one involves precaution advocacy. In precaution advocacy, the potential effects of the hazard are high. The necessary strategy therefore involves creating an outrage so that the hazard can get the attention it deserves. The second element involves outrage management. Here, the potential effects of the hazard are low but the outrage is high. The corrective measure involves attracting the attention of the media so that there may be the right levels of emotions to warrant an immediate response. The third element involves crisis communication. Here, both the potential effects of the hazard and outrage are high. This element is applied to highly volatile incidents that are difficult to manage.
How to Communicate Risks Effectively
The first step is to put a particular risk in context. This should include examining the motives of communicating the risk and measuring the potential effects. The next step should involve comparing the risk with others previously recorded. Comparing will enable you to determine the point beyond which the effects of the hazard in question will cause serious or irreversible damages. The last step is to discuss broadly the potential effects of the hazard with the affected parties and suggest mitigation measures.
The best way of communicating risks is to inform all the participants and ensure fairness. You should also make sure that the participants are able to help solve the communication difficulties that may arise. You should also match your communication efforts with the type of risk in question.
Importance of Communicating Risks
Communicating risks enables managers and the team members to determine the probability of a risk materializing and its possible impacts. It allows analysts to understand the difference between risks and hazards found in a particular area. It also prepares the community to deal with any short or long-term effects of the hazards and the risk management techniques put in place. Communicating risks can also help organizations avoid litigation or fallout with the public.
Effective communication of opinion and information on risks associated with certain hazards is important for any organization. Communicating risks effectively will help the organization avoid problems ranging from litigation to damage of property and losses. The items discussed above will give you more insight on risk communication, including its importance and how to do it effectively.
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