Risk Communication in Public Health Emergencies

Risk & Crisis Communication
Online Course
2 hours
University of Alabama
South Central PERLC

Go to training host page. You will leave this site.


This course is an introduction to risk and crisis communication during a public health emergency. The latest theory from the literature and applied concepts from agency recommendations are covered. This course is a hands-on, case-study based application of risk communication theory and practice. Theory and concepts are taught in the context of extensive examples and practice problems interspersed throughout the lectures. By the end of this course, the participant will have learned and practiced a variety of tools in the formation of risk communication messages.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Give reasons for the importance of developing messages before an event occurs
  • Discuss the ways that information is processed differently under low stress and high stress conditions
  • Describe the conditions necessary for mass panic
  • List factors that contribute to the formation of risk perception
  • Explain and use the 27/9/3 Rule of Communication
  • Explain and use the Know, Do, Go method of message development
  • Describe and construct a message map
  • Discuss the components of and construct a fully mapped first message
  • List and explain five ways to fail in delivering an effective risk communication during a crisis
  • List and explain five ways to succeed in delivering an effective risk communication during a crisis
  • List four DOs and DON’Ts of dealing with the media
  • Write and respond to challenge questions from the media
  • Discuss the chronology of communication events as they should occur before, during and after a crisis
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Preparedness
Emergency Operations Coordination