Title

A Crisis of Epidemic Proportions: What Communication Lessons Can Practitioners Learn from the Singapore Sars Crisis?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2006

Abstract

SARS and its dramatic socio-economic consequences seem to be a classic case of the social amplification of risk. Nonetheless, the way in which Singapore managed the SARS crisis received glowing praise from international health experts and agencies. This study focuses on the risk communication strategies of Singapore's health spokespersons -- particularly those at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and the Ministry of Health -- in Singapore during the 2003 SARS crisis. The Ministry of Health and TTSH officials used all five trust-building (risk attenuation) strategies during the SARS crisis. The dominant trust-relevant aspect emphasized in the statements made to the Straits Times was openness (41.3%). This was followed by participation (19.3%), competence (17.94%), care (15.72%), fairness (13.5%), and skepticism (10.8%). In spectacular risk-communication fashion, Singapore has shared control with its public. Moreover, the Singapore government had put in place stringent procedures for the approval and dissemination of messages to the public.

Discipline

Advertising and Promotion Management | Business and Corporate Communications

Research Areas

Corporate Communication

Publication

Public Relations Quarterly

Volume

51

Issue

1

First Page

6

Last Page

11

ISSN

0033-3700

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