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MS 7025 University of Leicester Public Communication in through the Coronavirus Crisis Paper

MS 7025

University of Leicester


Question Description

I don’t know how to handle this Communications question and need guidance.

Students must use academic referencing and a bibliography in this essay (see the Postgraduate Student Handbook for more information and guidance on Referencing and Academic Honesty).The task for this assignment is to design and pilot-test a study of mediated public communication, and to produce and submit a 2800-word report of the research. While the choice of public communication issue or topic to research is up to you, you must draw your research approaches or methods from those that have been introduced in the module (Including Content Analysis, Framing, CORPUS ANALYSIS, Big Data, Visual Communication Analysis, Focus Group, Critical Discourse Analysis). The research design needs to be for a full-scale hypothetical study, but for this assignment only a small-scale pilot-testing of your design is required in terms of actual data-collection and analysis. A general outline of what is required is given, and full details of the nature of the assignment will be given during the first weeks of the module in the lectures.

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Public Communication in through the Coronavirus Crisis



Public Communication in through the Coronavirus Crisis
The coronavirus crisis is the most pressing global crisis that has captured the attention of
the entire globe at the moment. The novel virus that started in China towards the end of 2019 has
infected hundreds of thousands of people across the world, while tens of thousands have
succumbed to it. The virus has led to a global shutdown, with many industries shutting down and
the movements of people getting restricted. Today, the world is sunk in the air of uncertainty.
There is no sight of any treatment in the near future. Millions of people have lost their jobs while
many more have been forced to go on unpaid leave. Cox (2020, March 30) says that the federal
government projects that more than 37 million Americans may potentially lose their jobs, leading
to 32% of unemployment in the country. This is a global crisis whose social, economic, and
political ramifications may be far-reaching and devastating. One thing that makes this crisis
devastating to many countries is the fact that it is uncertain. It is not known when, or even if, this
crisis will be brought under control. While there are many strategies that have been adopted by
different countries, there is no certainty among people all over the world that the strategies will
work. Schrager (2020, March 23) says that uncertainty about this virus has led to so much
anxiety that its psychological impacts may be more devastating than the deaths that it may cause.
According to the paper, there is no much data that may be used to make authoritative statements.
The effect of this is that there is a lot of misinformation that so many have become confused
about the true nature of the virus. Everyone has suddenly become a coronavirus expert, and they
make all sorts of statements on social media platforms. It goes without saying that most of the
social media posts are outrageous, and they are not based on any sound scientific knowledge,
concept, theory, or foundation. Phillips (2020, March 13) appreciates this fact in the article titled



Coronavirus, misinformation is dangerous. Think before you share, which appeared on The
Guardian. According to Phillips (2020), a crisis of this nature is not comfortable with any level
of misinformation. For example, the author mentions that many people prescribe a wide range of
medications that, according to them, may be used to treat coronavirus. None of the medications
have been proven in any scientific investigation. Besides, some of the medications that are being
peddled on online platforms are capable of having adverse health effects on users. Today, many
people are confused, and they do not know what kind of information they need to entertain. Even
information from experts is now being treated with contempt because they have been drowned in
the rumors and misinformation. The level of coronavirus misinformation makes it incredibly
important how public crisis information may be used to improve the management of the crisis.
In Communicating Europe in times of crisis: External perceptions of the European Union,
Chaban, and Holland (2014) indicate that there is nothing as dangerous during a crisis as
misinformation. During a crisis, it is critical for people to act in one direction. However, with
misinformation all over, it becomes very difficult for populations to agree on common
approaches to combat the crisis. It is even more devastating when people start losing faith in or
distrusting information that comes from the government. This happens when there are loopholes
or weaknesses in public crisis communication approaches (Austin et al., 2012). The purpose of
this paper is to examine the extent to which public communication practices may enhance the
fight against the novel coronavirus. The paper holds that the adoption of effective public crisis
communication strategies may help in the fight against the novel coronavirus by making sure that
populations are not conflicted by the varying information that they receive, thereby allowing
them to make appropriate and well-informed decisions.



Statement of purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which public communication
practices may enhance the fight against the novel coronavirus. The fight against coronavirus has
been hindered significantly by misinformation. The success against coronavirus depends
significantly on human behavior. Today, it is common to hear statements such as 'keep social
distance,' 'self-quarantine,' and 'washing hands regularly with clean water.' These are the
behavior changes that the experts have said will be essential in making sure that the spread of the
virus is contained. However, there are people who come up with contradicting instructions, and
this ends up giving the populations false information that hinders the fight against the virus. This
paper aims at developing public crisis communication practices that may be useful in the fight
against the coronavirus.
Objectives of the study
1. Improve the effectiveness of public communication during the coronavirus crisis
2. Minimize misinformation during the fight against coronavirus so that the public does not
act erratically
3. Contribute to the fast and effective fight against coronavirus and, as a result, lead to the
resumption of normal public lives.
Literature Review
In a paper, Communicating out of a crisis, Bland (2016) describes communication as one of
the most important elements of crisis management. From the beginning, the author says that
while it is important for individuals and organizations to come up with strategies to prevent
crises from happening, it is notable that it is very difficult or even impossible to prevent crises



from happening. In the case of coronavirus, it is notable that no one saw it coming, and that
means there was little that could be done to prevent it. In that regard, the only way out of it to
come up with strategies that may limit its damage to populations. One of the elements of crisis
communication that this book suggests is that crisis communication needs to be done by experts.
Within teams that are appointed to handle crises, the most knowledgeable persons about the
subject matter need to be in charge of the communication. It is only the professionals who are
capable of speaking with a high level of confidence regarding the subject matter (McQuail,
2010). When a crisis is a result of storms that are hitting cities and destroying property and
causing loss of lives, it is expected that individuals who have knowledge of ocean current
movements and trends must be at the forefront in communicating with the public and other
stakeholders. The author says that the failure to use competent professionals in the given crisis is
likely to lead to ‘unexpected bad publicity’ (Bland, 2016. Pg. 5).
Kim et al. (2016) say that understanding the public with regard to their behavior pattern and
tendencies. In this paper, the authors make it clear that there is no way a communicator can be
effective in crisis communication without having knowledge of the unique traits of the targeted
group. There is no doubt that crisis communication is targeted at particular populations, and that
means there is a need to come up with a communication approach that will align with the unique
needs of the population (Coombs, 2015). If the communication is targeted to a certain racial
group, cultural group, or region, it is necessary to make sure that the communication is tailored
to meet the traits of the groups. Failure to adhere to this is likely to affect the quality of
communication with the teams. This position is shared with Olsson (2014), who says that
organizations must know the persons that they are dealing with during crises. Populations react
differently to communication, and the implication of this is that a team must have an in-depth



understanding of the population that they are add...

CASIMIR (26338)
Boston College

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