This blog encourages leaders to communicate with clarity, authority, and empathy to counteract harmful misinformation.
The rapid spread of misinformation, particularly via social media, has led to irrational behavior and feelings of anxiety, anger, and complacency. This crisis has highlighted the importance of teaching people basic health literacy skills – where to check health facts and data – so they do not perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Timely, accurate, and succinct communication must be given to people to help address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Leaders should heed the following advice for effective communication with the public and health care community:
- Provide necessary resources to public health departments
- Take charge and be proactive by using successful communication tools to communicate easy-to-understand messages
- Measure the public and health care community’s sentiments and tailor messages to address them
- Provide media resources that are helpful, accurate, and timely
- Communicate what the government is doing for patients, families, and health care workers