The success of institutional crisis and risk communication is based on an open and dialogue-oriented communication policy as well as on a congruence between the expectations of all parties involved and their fulfillment. Central to communication with other actors and with the population is a mutual relationship of trust. This paper describes factors that are instrumental in determining whether and to what extent institutions can establish a basis of trust and credibility. It discusses how trustworthy risk communication can succeed even in times of crisis. Successful risk communication is tied to a process that conveys credibility and competence through openness of results, convincing communication of scientific evidence, the inclusion of plural values and criteria, and the synthesis of system and orientation knowledge. Given the uncertainty of knowledge and the confusion of communication processes in society, this task is not easy to accomplish. Despite these difficulties, institutions of risk assessment and regulation can build trust and perpetuate it over time through skillful coalition-building with organizations and groups with high trust potential, transparent, open-ended forms of communication, and the involvement of stakeholders and affected individuals in risk management.
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- Academic Articles
Renn, O. (2022). Vertrauen als Grundlage einer erfolgreichen institutionellen Risikokommunikation. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 65(5), 529-536. doi:10.1007/s00103-022-03519-w.
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