Effective Risk Communication

A Message-Centered Approach
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Robert Littlefield
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Coordination of risk assessments and risk communication strategies requires information sharing and establishing networks of working relationships between groups and agencies. Establishing these relationships necessitates overcoming - stitutional, cultural, and political boundaries. Signi?cant barriers exist between r- ulatory agencies and industry groups. Traditionally, these groups have mistrusted one another, and cooperation and collaboration, including sharing information, c- respondingly has been limited. The adoption of radio frequency identi?cation te- nology for tracking livestock, for example, has been met with signi?cant resistance due in part to mistrust between regulatory agencies and producers (Veil, 2006). In the food industry, the need for coordination has been enhanced by industry in- gration and globalization of both markets and production. In the case of GM foods discussed earlier, disagreements between U. S. , European Union, and Canadian r- ulatory agencies fueled the debate over the safety of GM crops. Overcoming institutional and cultural barriers, and mistrust is necessary to create consistency in risk messages. Open communication and information sharing can help clarify where risk perceptions diverge and identify points of convergence. The outcome may not be universal agreement about risks, but convergence around the general parameters of risk. Summary These best practice strategies of risk communication are not designed to function as distinct steps or isolated approaches. Rather than being mutually exclusive, they serve to complement one another and create a coherent approach to confronting risk communication problems.
Provides best practices approach as a form of grounded theory for process improvement
Conceptualizing a Message-Centered Approach to Risk Communication.- Introducing a Message-Centered Approach to Risk Communication.- Best Practices for Risk Communication.- Multiple Audiences for Risk Messages.- Cases in Risk Communication.- The Case Study Approach.- Cryptosporidium: Unanticipated Risk Factors.- Hurricane Katrina: Risk Communication in Response to a Natural Disaster.- New Zealand Beef Industry: Risk Communication in Response to a Terrorist Hoax.- Odwalla: The Long-Term Implications of Risk Communication.- ConAgra: Audience Complexity in Risk Communication.- Applications of a Message-Centered Approach to Risk Communication.- Toward a Practice of Mindfulness.- Ethical Considerations in Risk Communication.- Future Directions.
Written for those charged with delivering risk messages to the public, this book constructs a communication-based approach to the subject. It establishes a message-centered focus and uses a best-practice approach as a grounded theory for process improvement.

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