Communicating risk through Press releases

A press release is a written communication given to the media by the risk communicator.  The press release should begin with the most important information and end with the details, similar to website communication.  Specifically to risk management the press release should be used to inform the public about major events or concerns and not use overly scientific language or give technical details.  

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Devise different communication programmes for different target audiences: consider newspapers, the radio and TV to reach different audiences
  • Be aware of the major selection rules of the media: journalists like to highlight current events not the history of a situation
  • Use the media as a way of communicating your risk programme
  • Be sensitive of your audience: avoid being negative.
  • Allocate enough time to create an honest but non-shocking message.




Adapted from OECD Guidance Document on Risk Communication for Chemical Risk Management

Press releases should state the most important aspects in the beginning and the details at the end
Source: Yan Arief
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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