Air Date: 3-16-2012| Episode: 240
Creator of the “Risk = Hazard + Outrage” formula for risk communication, Peter M. Sandman is one of the preeminent risk communication speakers and consultants in the United States today, and has also worked extensively in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere...
Creator of the “Risk = Hazard + Outrage” formula for risk communication, Peter M. Sandman is one of the preeminent risk communication speakers and consultants in the United States today, and has also worked extensively in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. His unique and effective approach to managing risk controversies has made him much in demand for other sorts of reputation management as well. Dr. Sandman has helped his clients through a wide range of public controversies that threatened corporate or government reputation -from oil spills to labor-management battles; from vaccine autism scares to the siting of hazardous waste facilities. In the terms first popularized by Dr. Sandman, these are usually situations where the “hazard” is low, the “outrage” is high, and the core task is outrage management.
A time to scare, a time to reassure.
Today’s guest on IAQradio, Peter Sandman, PhD is a master of applied psychology, according to Dr. S the Goal is to have people as upset as justified by the hazard. Dr. Sandman is the creator of the “Risk = Hazard + Outrage formula. Out of proportion with risk is bad. Being over outraged is equally as bad as being under outraged.
Nuggets mined from today’s show:
· Both rightful and wrongful outrage exist.
· An examples of Hazard Low – Outrage High: Superfund sites and nuclear power plants.
· Disaster restoration scenarios are often Hazard High-Outrage High. Crisis communication is the job, people are rightfully upset, tactic-“we’ll get through this together”
· It’s dishonorable to minimize or maximize, Hazard or Outrage
· People who are upset aren’t in the mood to hear anything.
· People who are upset don’t like statistics.
· Hazard High Outrage Low. Seasonal flu, precaution advocacy take precautions more seriously, influence behavior, get flu shot.
· IEQ outrage management, manage down
· Might my problem be about the precaution? Precaution advocacy. Example of precaution advocacy, is getting remediation workers to wear PPE. Workers insufficiently outraged by the perceived hazard resist wearing PPE. The equipment may cause outrage, workers may resist wearing PPE due to comfort and sensory issues. Tactics: create a rule that doesn’t permit wearing hardhats in offices or low risk areas, allow workers to personalize hardhats with stickers, art, etc.
· Tips for restoration contractors dealing with fire and water losses: validate the client’s being upset. Reassure them: “this is what I do for a living”, “I go from one disaster to another”, “reasonably confident”, “optimistic”, “hopeful”, “probably come out OK”.
· Care First, Do Something Later- support a political candidate before signing a petition.
Do Something First, Care Later- after signing a petition, the signer likely becomes interested in learning more about the political candidate and what they signed.
· Resistance to data occurs. There is data to support the fact that data doesn’t work. Technical people often are deeply committed to data.
· Mold- Calm down isn’t an effective message and doesn’t work. Listen to them and allow them to vent. Demonstrate that you have heard them, by summarizing what they said, prepares them for listening to and hearing you. Great advise in the form of an article, “Indoor Air Quality Risk Communication- Before You Fix Anything Talk.” http://www.psandman.com/col/iaq.htm
Classic mistake made by the Japanese Government in managing the tsunami nuclear crisis. The Government failed to share its worst fears with the people, resulting in people losing trust.
Precaution advocacy. People have much on their minds and are busy worrying about other things. Keep message short, interesting, stay on message, provide reasons to care about the issues, Find something that pre-exists: an emotion, need, or feeling that can be used to effect behavior.
Peter Sandman has a superb web-site that offers much of his life’s work product at no charge: www.psandman.com
Today’s music: “Sandman’s Song” by Anne Briggs
Z-Man signing off