Communication Missteps During COVID-19 Hurt Those Already Most at Risk

Published in: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Volume 28, Issue 4, Special Issue: Technological Mediation for Disaster Risk Management, pages 482–484 (December 2020). doi: 10.1111/1468-5973.12304

Posted on on December 17, 2020

by Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Elizabeth L. Petrun Sayers

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Emergency risk communication is a crucial part responding to crises. Right now, vulnerable groups are experiencing disproportionately negative outcomes from communication missteps surrounding COVID-19. In this commentary, we describe the missteps and outline strategies that response organizations can take to improve communication for vulnerable groups.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.