This editorial highlights the need for more nuanced and targeted messaging to be effective with the public as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
The public’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has depended on a high level of trust in government information. Governments that heeded public health advice and provided clear messages have controlled the virus the best. Unfortunately, many governments did not provide clear and consistent messages, which led individuals to seek alternative unreliable sources of information that have led to confusion. General social marketing campaigns that may have been effective at the beginning of the pandemic must evolve to include more nuanced and targeted messaging that uses a wider range of messages and media channels than before. The government must be more proactive in tackling risk communication challenges.