Communication Experts Call for Ethical and Effective Communications to Handle Covid-19 Global Pandemic

Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, with the international professional and academic associations of public relations and communicators launched the Statement on Communication of Covid-19 Pandemic calling for honest and effective communication.

More than a year since the World Health Organization first declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern under the International Health Regulations (IHR), numerous problems emerged concerning the coordination of communication across institutions about the virus, protective measures, correct responses and vaccination.

Despite several warnings from the scientific community and the availability of information and lessons from previous infectious disease emergencies, governments and authorities around the world have shown a limited capacity to respond effectively to health emergency outbreaks.

Recent research evidence from the EUPRERA Com-Covid Network, a global series of national research projects organized by the European Public Relations Education and Research Associations have shown poor communication management along with low trust in information sources and authorities. Ángeles Moreno, President of EUPRERA said: “We know that ethical professional communication can save lives. Excellent practitioners are key to managing a pandemic as they can facilitate and maintain relations and mutual understanding between institutions and the public”.

The capacity to relay the right information quickly and clearly across different media platforms is essential to manage a public health emergency in an unbounded media landscape. In contrast, unclear and dishonest information can multiplicate the opportunities for miscommunication, in addition to leading to the dissemination of fake news, conspiracy theories and the spread of counter- behaviours that can compromise the abilities of societies to control the virus. Misleading messages and contradictory hints from leaders and institutions compromise trust, which can hamper a successful collective response.

With this statement, international professional and academic associations of strategic communication and public relations want to identify the mistakes for authorities and citizens and help with effective solutions.

The full Statement is attached and available at:  bit.ly/CStatement

The statement is supported by:

EUPRERA. European Public Relations Education and Research Association. Ángeles Moreno, President (photo)

EACD European Association of Communication Directors. Kim Larsen, President

ECREA European Communication Research and Education Association Section for Organisational and Strategic Communication (OSC). Isabel Ruiz-Mora, OSC Chair

FERPI Federazione Relazioni Pubbliche Italiana. Rosella Sobrero, President

Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. Justin Green, President

ICA International Communication Association Public Relations Division. Flora Hung-Baesecke, Division Chair

Institute for Public Relations. Tina McCorkindale, President

INTERDECOM International Declaration of Communications Professionals and Researchers for a healthier, viable, better world, Solange Tremblay, Leading Author

IPRA International Public Relations Association. Philippe Borremans, President

NORA The Nordic Alliance for Communication & Management. Alexander Buhmann, Director

The Museum of Public Relations. Shelley J. Spector, President

Women in PR North America. Talia Beckett Davis, President

BledCom International Public Relations Research Symposium. Dejan Verčič, Co-founder

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