Risk, Health and Crisis Communication Unit

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Transcript Risk, Health and Crisis Communication Unit

Elizabeth Avery, Assistant Professor
Karen Hilyard, Assistant Professor
Michael Palenchar, Associate Professor
Beth Meko, Information Specialist
School of Advertising and Public Relations
College of Communication and Information
• Organized research unit for 18 months
• Campus office – 401K Student Service Building
• Supported by the Office of Research, School of Advertising and
Public Relations & Center for Information & Communication Studies
• Goals: (1) to make the University of Tennessee more visible and
competitive in securing funding in this area, (2) support graduate
student and faculty research, and (3) become a self-supported
research unit in 5 years
• Advisory board of leading risk communication scholars from other
institutions, including: Robert Heath, University of Houston; Vicki
Freimuth, University of Georgia; Timothy Sellnow, University of
Kentucky; and Ron Edmund, Oak Ridge Affiliated Universities
• Grant output – $30K grant with NCFPD, almost $1 million in
proposals, approximately $40K in research contracts
• In the past 17 months, the three co-directors have published/have in
print 34 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters; one book;
conducted more than 30 research presentations at national and
international academic conferences and universities in the United
States, Australia, China, England, Spain, Mexico and Singapore;
and have given more than 20 presentations to US government
agencies, industry associations, corporations and community groups
• Other: summer fellowship, PhD workshops, dissertation and thesis
support, web site, pilot study research support, campus relationships
Engaging Rural Appalachians in
Recommended Childhood
RWJF Grant Application
Elizabeth Avery, Ph.D.
Southeastern Vaccination Rates
• ”Required” v.
• Low rates for
“optional” vaccines
• Vaccine refusalmessage and channel
• Vaccine
Project Objectives
To increase seasonal flu vaccination
rates among children in Kentucky and
To reach medically under-served
populations with effective vaccine
information and bolster health literacy
To identify mental models and reveal
disparities in vaccination attitudes and
knowledge between healthcare
providers and their patients
To generate new culturally tailored
campaigns that capitalize on the
prevalence of peer-to-peer and online
To track and evaluate the longitudinal
effectiveness of newly created
Project Phases
1) Identifying gaps between existing public health
messages about vaccination and existing parental
attitudes and perceptions
2) Developing a preliminary set of peer-to-peer messages
and testing them in an experiment with a representative
regional sample
3) Working with a partner agency to pilot test these peerto-peer messages in 5-10 rural, impoverished
communities, evaluating whether they increase
vaccination rates or alter attitudes toward vaccination
Expected Deliverables
and Outcomes
Messages and campaign guidelines developed in the project will be
suitable for disparate populations and available at no cost to a broad
range of health partners
While our focus will be impoverished, rural audiences in the Southeast,
similar mental models may exist among other regional and
demographic groups
Expected impact on improving quality, value and
health outcomes with an equal emphasis on controlling
Protection from preventable diseases reduces mortality, prevents
chronic complications from disease, reduces absenteeism, and
improves productivity
Expected Deliverables
and Outcomes
Commitment to and plan for evaluation of impact
Tracking changes in vaccination rates and in attitudes toward
vaccination are key, measurable parts of evaluation. Health agency
partners will facilitate tracking vaccine rates post-campaign
Anticipated barriers include access to vulnerable and under-vaccinated
populations; establishing rapport and overcoming suspicion and distrust
of vaccine-related research and messages; and promoting open
dialogue and candor, not socially desirable responses
Partnerships will play a critical role in pilot testing messages in 5-10
communities in Year Three. Potential partners include local health
departments, Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food programs, or
community parenting groups.
Social Media Constraints
& Opportunities Project
Michael J. Palenchar, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee
Principal Investigator
Shari R. Veil, MBA, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky
Graduate Students: Karen Freberg, Tara Buehner,
Chen Chen, Qiushi Wang, Liz Petrun, Holly Roberts
The material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant Award Number 2007-ST-061000003. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors should not be interpreted as necessarily
representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Research project funded by the Department of Homeland Security PRIME CONTRACT HSHQDC-10-C-00022 "Effective Risk
Communications for the Counter Improvised Explosive Devices.”
• Several themes require the immediate attention and
critical analysis of risk and crisis communicators
– Risk complexity of the food industry
– Technological advances transform how risk bearers view,
interact with, create and disseminate information, and
engage in dialogue within affected communities in a crisis
– Push for transparency, government intervention and citizencentric government
How can we make the most effective use of new
communication technologies in response to food safety and
defense risks?
1. Industry White Paper
2. Online Media Reputation Case
3. Social Media Bookmarking Case
4. Defining a Mobile Society
5. Intention to Comply with Food
Safety Messages
6. Best Practices Literature Review
Industry White Paper
Method: In-depth interviews with
20+ professionals on the front
lines of using social media
Limited official strategic effort,
typically initiated by early adopters
of new technology within
department (small working group),
little investment, limited training
– “Easier to ask for forgiveness
than permission”
Still primarily about information
Limited ROI, need measurement
tools beyond metrics
Industry White Paper
•Security of information and access serious concerns with intentionally
misleading information
•Difficulty keeping up with constant
change – technology, policy,
guidelines, training, information
(speed of response – managing the
•Difficulty leveraging stakeholders’
•Information overload
•Lack of perceived control –
perceived need to control
Industry White Paper
Incorporate social media tools in
environmental scanning to listen
to risk and crisis bearers concerns
Not engaging in social media can
have the same effect as not
returning a reporter’s call
Traditional media and agency
comments are repackaged and
Risk communication & weather
 Forecasters &
climate scientists
 Weather hazards
 Climate change
 Effective messages
Weather hazards
 Advisories, watches & warnings
 Numeracy, literacy
& visual representations
 Alternative ways to
motivate people to action
Climate change
 Engagement
 Perception of divisions
 Doubt & hostility
 Weathercasters as science educators
 Lived experience and local connections
Effective messages
 Audience psychology
 Structure
 Time pressure
What’s next?
 Together again, November 2011
 Joint research initiatives
Thank You!