What is Risk Communication?

What is Risk Communication?

What is Risk Communication? Jonathan Poland

Risk communication involves informing people about potential hazards and the steps that can be taken to prevent or mitigate those risks. This process can include providing warnings, disclosing information, and engaging in two-way communication to effectively manage and address risk. The following are illustrative examples.

A government agency calculates the risk of an earthquake based on the frequency of historical earthquakes in a region. They regularly communicate the risks to the public in a variety of media in order to encourage preparation such as earthquake resistant construction.

A product that is known to be unhealthy is required to display a warning on its label in a particular country, province or state.

A city warns of forecast poor air quality and communicates restrictions put in place to mitigate the situation.

A construction company conducts mandatory annual safety training for all employees that includes a breakdown of the most common safety risks related to different types of construction sites. Training is aimed at creating awareness of common risks and communicates actions that can be taken to reduce risk.

Financial Risk
A financial advisor accurately communicates investing risks to clients including factors such as volatility, liquidity risk, concentration risk and the risk profile of an asset or security.

Project Risk
A project manager communicates a risk management plan to stakeholders. All stakeholders are given an opportunity to identify risks and provide ideas for reducing risk. Risk owners are asked to sign off on the risk management plan. As new risks are identified, the process repeats.

Business Risk
A purchasing manager at a manufacturing company warns operations and marketing teams of a possible shortage of parts due to supply chain disruptions.

Moment of Risk
A telecom company warns its corporate customers of maintenance to network infrastructure that may impact performance or result in downtime.

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