This article highlights how government officials can communicate with the public during crises to showcase their leadership in challenging circumstances.
Government leaders’ crisis management strategies during COVID-19 will be the defining legacy of their terms. Their role is to not only share information but also to communicate that someone is in charge who has a plan to help their city, state, and/or nation overcome the crisis situation. To be effective, government leaders must be visible, provide timely information, and heed the advice of public health experts and other knowledgeable staff members. Communicating a clear plan, and its changes, in a reassuring and persuasive way provides comfort and leads to more trust among citizens. Constituents carefully watch how leaders handle crises and judge them on their response to difficult challenges. Therefore, remaining calm and “normal” will incite confidence in our governors and other leaders.