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THREAD: Five tried and true principles for communication during a public health crisis (these literally save lives): (1/x)
#1 Be transparent and truthful - this creates trust, accountability, and allows people to get valuable information. There is tremendous pressure in the middle of a crisis to over promise while also glossing over tough news. You must resist that urge. (2/x)
#2 Be consistent - lurching from one position to another is confusing and plants seeds of doubt. It's ok to change your position if circumstances change, but explain why with clear logic and scientific evidence. (3/x)
#3 Over communicate - err on the side of sharing too much information rather than too little. Information is empowering in a crisis. When people feel they don't have enough information, it creates anxiety and impacts their decision-making. (4/x)
#4: Lead with scientists and science - science must triumph over politics when guiding a nation through a pandemic. The price of not doing so is measured in human suffering and lives lost. Communication must be led by scientists and policies must be grounded in science. (5/x)
#5 Be compassionate - public health crises are scary and stressful times. Leaders must strive to be empathic and understanding, especially during disagreements. This applies not only to the public and the press but also toward members of their own team. (6/x)
Final Thoughts: Speaking the truth may be perceived as partisan in a polarized environment. But that is why it is all the more important that we defend the truth and protect the truth tellers at all costs. (7/x)
Without honest, transparent communication, you can’t build trust. When public trust evaporates, you’ve lost one of the most essential assets you need in the face of a crisis. Trust must be earned and preserved above all. (8/x END)
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