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Address The World Health Orgazation's (WHO) concerns about how information pertaining to the recent outbreak of the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is being communicated to the general public.

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Introduction

ABSTRACT The purpose of this report is to address The World Health Orgazation's (WHO) concerns about how information pertaining to the recent outbreak of the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) that has infected and killed a number of people across the globe, is being communicated effectively to the general public. In particular, it focuses on the dissemination of information through its WHO official website, the Channel NewsAsia International television news broadcast and its official website, the Singapore Government Official Bird Flu website, websites offering general information, radio broadcast, pamphlets and newspaper articles from The Straits Times, Singapore. The report will however center itself around the use of the WHO's official website as a central platform of communication of information pertaining to the crisis. A combination of media channels has already been put in place to communicate and this report seeks to document the various media used to disseminate vital information pertaining to the Bird Flu and how each form of communication has been used and their effectiveness evaluated. Information gathered from the above-mentioned sources is analyzed and discussed using concepts and theories of communication, its nature both in the informative and persuasive aspects, language used, nonverbal cues and crisis communication. Finally, the report will document recommendations of how a crisis may be managed in a more effective manner and how the WHO can ensure that the information it is providing to the public can stay relevant and credible in the long run. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose The purpose of this report is to address the WHO's concerns as to how different channels of communication have been used to communication information relating to the Bird Flu outbreak and the how effective each medium has been in disseminating timely information to the general public. It will also attempt to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each communication medium as will be discussed in the later parts of the report. ...read more.

Middle

Newspaper articles like these are current and tend to justify and evident the credibility of information available on the websites. Singapore radio news broadcasts provide listeners with daily updates on the crisis ever few hours in a day and provides a more narrative view of the situation reported in the newspapers and websites. 3. DISCUSSION 3.1 Informative and Persuasive Techniques of Communication Much of the information provided to the general public by the WHO is presented in an informative and systematic manner, with an objective of increasing the public's 'understanding of the subject' (Adler and Elmhorst, 2002, p. 411) using a direct approach of 'bottom lining' the information presented. (Munter, 2000, p. 19). The information presented is focused, comprehensive and seeks to document facts and figures provided for by medical and health bodies and experts who may be involved in the crisis. In view of information provided on the WHO's website, the WHO seeks to clarify public doubts pertaining to the disease by providing adequate information of the origins of the Bird Flu virus and chronological events that followed up in and around Asia. Only the necessary and important information is systematically ordered and appropriate important information prioritized and presented to communication what is absolutely necessary for the public's knowledge. (Adler and Elmhorst, 2002). What results is 'improved communication' between the public and the WHO and a more 'centered audience' who are able to understand the WHO's objectives of providing simplified yet necessary information of dealing with the crisis to the public. (Munter, 2000, p. 20) Press releases and newspaper articles gathered from the Straits Times tend to revolve themselves around the current issues arising from the crisis and thus are of part informative and persuasive in nature. Information is easily accessible and available to the general public and these articles support and justify information available on the websites setup to provide information on the crisis. ...read more.

Conclusion

In concluding the stated evaluation, several recommendations have been developed to further improve communication. 5. RECOMMENDATIONS Communication with the general public during a global crisis like this is of utmost importance, and to achieve the WHO's objectives of effectively communicating through a series of media, the following recommendations have been made. These recommendations serve only as a guide to better improve communication of the crisis at hand as the WHO has on the whole, been making excellent progress at keeping the public updated via its numerous communication media: > Ensure continuous checks are made to weed out any possibility of fraud or deceit in information via evidence such as medical and scientific test reports and communication with reputable and reliable bodies like Channel NewsAsia, CNN and The World Trade Organization on latest developments. > The nature of the information communicated should be as informative as possible as it already is to enable easy and unambiguous understanding of the Bird Flu crisis and not to persuade the public to have conflicting views or to take a stand in interpreting the information provided. > The style and tone of the language used during the communication process should be simple, clear and neutral. Avoid use of complex jargon or denotative terms that might hinder the decoding process and cause more confusion. > Nonverbal cues like the WTO's logo should be prominently shown at appropriate and available opportunities to reassure the public of their reputable image and credibility and also serve as a strong support of the nature of information being communicated to the public in times of crisis. > Crisis communication should be made with all honesty, even when pending investigations by relevant authorities. A competent and decisive team of key individuals of the organization should be gathered promptly at the helm of an impending crisis and that a clear strategic directive contingency plan be put in place to guide the team during its crisis management activities. MGW 2100 Managerial Communication Averil Chan (19603363) Assignment 2: Report ...read more.

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