Evaluating risk communication programmes through Systematic feedback from users of communication material

This is a low-budget option if there is not enough money for a more comprehensive evaluation programme. Feedback can be collected in almost all forms of communication. Attach a response sheet to all written information, provide a feedback channel on all Internet presentations, hand out evaluation sheets on personal presentations, and make sure you operate an open forum on the Internet. In addition, most PR departments conduct systematic evaluations of press coverage and letters to the editor. This material can also be used by a risk communicator to collect and process feedback. One should be aware, however, that these feedback channels are systematically biased. People who love or hate the communication effort are more likely to respond than people in the middle. All respondents with lots of free time are also overrepresented. Being aware of these biases helps risk communicators avoid misinterpretation.

A specific form of feedback analysis, often used by industry and governments, is the tracking and analysis of media coverage of salient issues. The results can be very valuable in the design and redesign of message content and message delivery. This type of feedback is most useful when it is gathered and analysed systematically over extensive periods of time.



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

Feedback can be collected in almost all forms of communication
Source: Hatfield Consultants
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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