Effective risk communication is intended to share knowledge and understanding about potential risk in a manner that helps consumers make well-informed decisions. It is a skill that is relevant to situations consumers encounter from day to day, such as considering weight management or hand washing, as well as situations that are rarely even considered, such as food defense. Effective risk communication fosters a better understanding of both the reality and perception of risk, so that authorities can communicate more successfully, and the consumer can react appropriately. To develop skills in this area it is necessary to understand risk, become familiar with how individuals process and perceive risk and learn effective communication strategies that resonate with consumers.
Become familiar with these concepts by reviewing both the Understanding Risk and Risk Communication Resources as well as the Risk Communication Tools section that have been developed to build and enhance skills in communication.
In an era of rapid communication and advanced technology, the media plays an integral role in risk communication and consumer risk perception. Members of the media can review the Risk Communication for Media section to hone their skills in this area and help contribute to responsible and accurate reporting of perceived and actual health, nutrition and food safety risks.