Risk communication


Risk communication is a complex cross-disciplinary academic field that is part of risk management and related to fields like crisis communication. The goal is to make sure that targeted audiences understand how risks effect to them or their communities by appealing to their values.[1][2]

Risk communication is particularly important in disaster preparedness,[3] public health,[4] and preparation for major global catastrophic risk.[3] For example, the impacts of climate change and climate risk effect every part of society, so communicating that risk is an important climate communication practice, in order for societies to plan for climate adaptation.[5] Similarly, in pandemic prevention, understanding of risk helps communities stop the spread of disease and improve responses.[6]

Risk communication deals with possible risks and aims to raise awareness of those risks to encourage or persuade changes in behavior to relieve threats in the long term. On the other hand, crisis communication is aimed at raising awareness of a specific type of threat, the magnitude, outcomes, and specific behaviors to adopt to reduce the threat.[7]

Risk communication in food safety is part of the risk analysis framework. Together with risk assessment and risk management, risk communication aims to reduce foodborne illnesses. Food safety risk communication is an obligatory activity for food safety authorities[8] in countries, which adopted the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.


Risk communication and community engagementEdit

Risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) is a method that draws heavily on volunteers, frontline personnel and on people without prior training in this area.[9] The World Health Organization advocated for this approach during the early recommendations for public health mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]


Problems for risk communicators involve how to reach the intended audience, how to make the risk comprehensible and relatable to other risks, how to pay appropriate respect to the audience's values related to the risk, how to predict the audience's response to the communication, etc. A main goal of risk communication is to improve collective and individual decision making.

Some experts coincide that risk is not only enrooted in the communication process but also it cannot be dissociated from the use of language.[citation needed] Though each culture develops its own fears and risks, these construes apply only by the hosting culture.


  1. ^ Risk Communication Primer—Tools and Techniques. Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center
  2. ^ Understanding Risk Communication Theory: A Guide for Emergency Managers and Communicators. Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (May 2012)
  3. ^ a b "ShieldSquare Captcha". doi:10.1088/1755-1315/273/1/012040/pdf. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Motarjemi, Y.; Ross, T (2014-01-01), Motarjemi, Yasmine (ed.), "Risk Analysis: Risk Communication: Biological Hazards", Encyclopedia of Food Safety, Waltham: Academic Press, pp. 127–132, ISBN 978-0-12-378613-5, retrieved 2021-11-12
  5. ^ "Risk communication in the context of climate change". weADAPT | Climate change adaptation planning, research and practice. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  6. ^ "RISK COMMUNICATION SAVES LIVES & LIVELIHOODS Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework" (PDF). World Health Organization. 2015.
  7. ^ REYNOLDS, BARBARA; SEEGER, MATTHEW W. (2005-02-23). "Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication as an Integrative Model". Journal of Health Communication. 10 (1): 43–55. doi:10.1080/10810730590904571. ISSN 1081-0730. PMID 15764443. S2CID 16810613.
  8. ^ Kasza, Gyula; Csenki, Eszter; Szakos, Dávid; Izsó, Tekla (2022-08-01). "The evolution of food safety risk communication: Models and trends in the past and the future". Food Control. 138: 109025. doi:10.1016/j.foodcont.2022.109025. ISSN 0956-7135.
  9. ^ "Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Considerations: Ebola Response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo". WHO. 2018. Archived from the original on August 19, 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  10. ^ "COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy – interim guidance". www.who.int. Retrieved 2021-11-12.