Effective Risk Communication: Theory, Tools, and Practical Skills for Communicating about Risk (RCC0313)

Venue: Harvard School of Public Health

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Event Date/Time: Mar 18, 2013 / 8:00 am - (EST) End Date/Time: Mar 20, 2013 / 1:00 pm - (EST)
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 Stay ahead of the curve by participating in this in-depth program, featuring the latest scientific findings on risk perception, case studies from around the world, a suite of practical tools, and hands-on training. This introductory program explores the scientific foundations for effective risk communication. Participants will gain the skills necessary to communicate about risk to various audiences by working with different perspectives and encouraging more reasoned behavior among the people they are trying to influence and serve.

  Who Should Participate   Professionals with responsibilities in:

  • Communication
  • Emergency management
  • Legislation
  • Policymaking


  • Academia
  • Governmental organizations and agencies
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Public health and safety
  • Regulated industries

Upon Completion, Participants Will Be Able To:

  • Understand the key components that make up risk perception, the values and concerns brought by various audiences, and likely responses of these audiences to such risk issues as new technologies, facility siting, and new regulations
  • Develop strategies to enhance understanding and trust amongst audiences, while minimizing conflict on risk issues
  • Craft organizational policies and messages responsive to audience risk concerns

Learning Objectives:

Risk Perception:

  • Findings from cognitive psychology and decision science that provide a basis to understand how people perceive risk and make decisions
  • Findings on why the public’s reaction to risk sometimes seems to be "irrational"
  • Update of the latest scientific studies on the topic
  • Understand the importance of trust in how the public perceives risk

Mental Models:

  • A scientific process for developing the most effective messages for the media
  • Reasons why journalists often play up the frightening and threatening aspects of the news
  • How to work more effectively with the media

Lessons from Case Studies:

  • Acrylamide
  • Participants will develop communication messages based on the most recent risk communication thinking

Application of Risk Communication:

  • Development and implementation of risk management policy
  • Design and execution of communications about policies and issues


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Additional Information

Program Fees:

$1,595.00: if payment received by March 11, 2013
$1,695.00: if payment received after March 11, 2013