This article describes how advances in social and decision sciences have enhanced the understanding and development of risk communications. It takes into account how the public perceives and assesses risks are integral for industry communication plans. Specifically, the impact of trust on how the public will perceive risks and interpret relevant communications is evident and the effect is particularly poignant in crisis situations. It is therefore necessary to consider levels of trust in sources of information, as well as understand the post-trust environment when designing communications. Dedicated efforts to re-build trust are crucial to address both expected and unexpected operational and potential future risks. Future challenges in crisis risk communication will have their own unique circumstances, but a common thread is better pre-crisis planning involving the understanding of public perceptions of risk to deal with communication challenges that will inevitably arise.
July 16, 2015