Review: The good, the bad and the ugly: a lesson in COVID crisis communications from Victoria’s CHO
In this article, a chief health officer argues that communication about COVID-19 must be immediate and transparent.
Similar to other countries, Australia’s government was slow to inform people about the severity of COVID-19 in a timely manner. However, Brett Sutton, chief health officer of Victoria, was quick to warn others of the impending pandemic and encouraged government officials to communicate quickly and honestly. He notes that communication is a critical health intervention, and that it is now time to move from risk communication to crisis communication, which includes being clear and responsible with communicating the good, the bad, and the ugly to increase people’s efficacy and support efforts.
About the Author: 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.