8 mistakes pandemic communicators are still making

Two years into the pandemic, many Americans remain confused or skeptical about the COVID-19-related guidance they're receiving from the federal agencies and other public health experts. Here are eight key missteps public health communication professionals are continuing to make, according to a Dec. 9 report written by risk communication expert Peter M. Sandman, PhD.

  1. Overconfidence and failure to declare uncertainty

  2. Failure to let people know what they can expect

  3. Establishing false consensus by ignoring minority opinions

  4. Prioritizing health over other values (such as liberty, convenience, economics and mental well-being)

  5. Cherry-picking data to communicate health-promoting portions of the truth

  6. Failure to own up to misguidance

  7. Failure to handle misinformation with empathy and credibility

  8. Politicization
 

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