CP, using Freedom of Information law, has discovered a high degree of concern among federal officials about the media coverage of the Maple Leaf listeriosis outbreak. While Maple Leaf gets high marks for its openness and candor on the issue, CP is critical of the feds for being more concerned about image than containment of the outbreak. As former professor of risk communications, there are three steps in managing this kind of scenario:
1. Risk Assessment. What the heck is going on, which is difficult in a moving situation.
2. Risk Management. Based on what we know of it, how do we manage it? i.e. withdraw product, close down lines, vaccinate etc.
3. Risk communications. Now that we roughly know what caused it and what we recommend to do about it, communicate it, targeting those people mostly at risk.
Canadian Press/Canoe, Dec. 2 2008