Issue management

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What is an issue? how does it start? what signs should you watch out for? what action should you take? Prof. Eucharia Kenya (ISAAA AfriCenter Associate) shares insights into how manage potential issues that may impede your research

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Issue management

  1. 1. Issue Management & Risk PerceptionEucharia Kenya(with input from presentation by Donna Zahnof PBS) Science Communication Training for Bio Science in Eastern Africa under BIPCEA 4th July 2012. Kigali, Rwanda
  2. 2. Issues Management:What Scientists must consider Consistently and compassionately demonstrate expertise of scientists ◦ Restore lost confidence during a crisis Manage expectations for the future ◦ Getting ahead of the application of the science causes issues ◦ Stay in step with product development ◦ Allows scientists time for data-driven decisions
  3. 3. What Scientists must consider…… ◦ Build and maintain relationships with third-parties  Share technical knowledge - allows your team to focus on the scientific processes and product ◦ Internal issues management  Sometimes more important and more difficult
  4. 4. Issues Management – Lifecycle of an Issue Publicity Exposure and who is Politicians involved Public Media Interest Groups Scientists & Academia Fringe Phase Emergence Triggering “Crisis”/Public ResolutionMost Event Positioning Best opportunity to Saveeffective use Only if have to, but must Resources, & Reduce Riskof resources be prepared Time Anticipatory Crisis REF: Anderson, D.D., Key Concepts in Anticipatory Issue Management. Corporate Environmental Strategy. 5(1):6-17. 1997
  5. 5. Risk Perception: The driver of issues  Public risk perception is largely based on the fact that: ◦ People fear things that they do not know or understand ◦ People’s fear heightens when they feel as if they have no control over their participation. ◦ If there is low trust in the organization/institution/ person, ◦ There is high fear if there is:  Disagreement among experts  Lack of consistent messages from respected institutions REF: Paul Slovic
  6. 6. Perception is Reality !!!!!!  Difficult concept for scientists ◦ Fact vs. fiction  The most compelling and effective speakers are those who: ◦ Are sincere and focused during the interview or presentation ◦ Appear warm and friendly ◦ Understand the audience’s concerns ◦ Believe what they are saying ◦ Maintain accuracy while translating the science ◦ Tell stories, appear human and live on the same planet!
  7. 7. Communications Dilemma Non-Scientists Scientists Headline / Technical Theory Conclusion 60% of interested Info relevant parties get to here Collecting data to conclusion - adjusting theory Background -The rest of the story Conclusion
  8. 8. Issues Management Cardinal Rules Central goal is TRUST – maintain it & build it Be FORTHRIGHT - honest, open, frank & transparent ◦ Know when you don’t know ◦ Remain compassionate ◦ Never promise an outcome PERCEPTION is the rule – work to change perception Acknowledge UNCERTAINTY ACCEPT the public as a legitimate partner Meet the needs of the MEDIA ◦ Or they will define the story for you - communicate frequently to avoid this
  9. 9. Thank you

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