Let’s work through an example to review all the concepts covered in this section. This is a chance for you to practice what you’ve just learned — your answers will not be tracked. Enjoy.
There has been an outbreak of meningococcal disease at a local high school. One student has died from meningitis, and four other students are possibly infected. The close contacts of the deceased student have been identified and given preventative antibiotics. It is not known how the deceased student contracted the disease.
Below are 3 sample statements you might make in a letter to parents, staff, and students. Select the strategy used in each statement.
The answer is C. Describing meningitis is an example of plain language.
Describing meningitis is an example of plain language.
The answer is A. Expressing sympathy acknowledges emotion.
Expressing sympathy acknowledges emotion.
The answer is B. Recommending vaccines and what to avoid gives people a choice of actions.
Recommending vaccines and what to avoid gives people a choice of actions.
Within minutes of the student’s death, other students at the school and their parents start to post Facebook statuses and tweet about the situation.
The answer is C. You should start communicating with the public as soon as possible, even if you don’t know all the answers. Waiting to be 100% accurate can mean that other people will fill the information void—people who have less information than you.
It’s okay to acknowledge that you don’'t have all the answers. Even if you can’t say much, share what you do know as quickly as possible. Be sure to tell people you will update them as soon as you have more information.
Select the strategy for building trust and credibility that identifies each of the statements below.
The answer is A. Expressing sympathy shows humanity.
Expressing sympathy shows humanity.
The answer is C. Letting people know what symptoms to look for keeps them coming back to you for information.
Letting people know what symptoms to look for keeps them coming back to you for information.
The answer is B. Continuing to monitor people is an example of not over reassuring.
Continuing to monitor people is an example of not over reassuring.