Giving continuity to the initiatives undertaken by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, such as the call made by our president, Justin Green, to follow WHO recommendations and official information to fight against the COVID 19, the board members, representing 280,000 professionals and academics from 126 countries, have decided to cooperate once again to agree 12 messages that should guide communications about the pandemic.
The aim of this initiative is to remind governments, companies, organizations and individuals that the way we manage communication is key to shape public sentiment, to help overcome this global crisis and, at the same time, to be ready for a better future. According to the first of the 16 ethical principles that we deem universal and fundamental to the practice of public relations and communication management, “we work in the public interest”, this means that our responsibility goes beyond our own organizations.
These are the 12 points GA considers relevant to create responsible communication about Coronavirus Covid-19 and its impact on social coexistence, the economy and, in general, all human relationships.
1. Before you communicate, think about the impact of your message beyond your organization.
2. Do not hide the impact of the pandemic. Be realistic in your communications, based on facts.
3. Use straightforward, plain language to minimize dramatizing the situation.
4. Include hope in the spirit of the communications.
5. Spread good examples and practices.
6. Identify and legitimize people’s emotions.
7. Give priority to messaging from official sources.
8. Avoid sharing fake news. Be critical of sources of information.
9. Don’t saturate networks with messages.
10. Don’t spend time criticizing public communication. Try to cooperate with them to improve.
11. Support the work of the media providing accurate information in the right moment.
12. Good humor is an antidote to crisis, as long as it is not frivolous.
So far, APRN in cooperation with other ASEAN countries has translated this to Bahasa (Indonesia), Thai (Thailand), Burmese (Myanmar) and Tagalog (Philippines).