For public health organisations involved in communicable disease control, trust and reputation management is vital. In the event of a disease outbreak these organisations need to be seen as a credible source given that perceptions of trust and legitimacy have an impact on public support and compliance with behavioural advice.
Trust and reputation management require proactive planning and a strategic, rather than reactive, approach. The literature review detected a limited understanding of the role of risk communication as a participatory dialogue, rather than a one-way communication process from experts to public. The report also includes recommendations for future research and development of good practices including strong media relations skills, using key principles of social marketing such as audience segmentation, relationship building with key stakeholders and enhanced commitment to transparency.
The review, aimed at public health professionals and health communicators, is one in a series of ‘Insights into health communication’ on the prevention and control of communicable disease in the European context.
Insights into health communication
Literature review 2 - Trust and reputation management in communicable diseases public health
Literature review 1 - A literature review on health information-seeking behaviour on the web: a health consumer and health professional perspective