Review: COVID-19, communications, and competition: We’re doing it wrong

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Review: COVID-19, communications, and competition: We’re doing it wrong

This commentary argues that the United States government needs a better, deliberate crisis communication strategy.

Public communication surrounding COVID-19 has been haphazard and highlights the need for government to coordinate messaging. Globally, there is a great-power competition intertwined with the crisis, and by being more responsive to messaging opportunities and coordinating effective countermeasures, the United States could compete with China and Russia. By focusing on the domestic crisis, the U.S. has missed an opportunity to coordinate and communicate with international allies and partners. Because there is no cohesive narrative and strategy, the U.S. government is unable to effectively compete with Russia and China in the information environment. Senior leadership has yet to develop a cohesive message that does not directly contradict itself. An effective crisis management communication strategy would allow the U.S. government to proactively engage and communicate during crises and not need to start from scratch each time a cohesive message is needed. Existing governmental organizations and positions already exit to develop this strategy, and they need to be properly resourced, supported, and held accountable.

|2020-04-15T09:31:07-04:00April 15th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: COVID-19, communications, and competition: We’re doing it wrong

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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