With the vast array of communications channels available, the government have made more than full use of them to get their message across to the public on the various issues surrounding Covid 19. The Press, Broadcast and Social media and every other available medium have all been used. Not only used, but hammered relentlessly for over a year. Yet, every time a politician of any persuasion appears on any platform, they insist the general public need to perform better at the tasks they’ve been set by their political masters. The public have failed them! Or, perhaps, it’s their masters who’ve failed to communicate effectively with the public?
This dereliction by politicians raises several concerns, but one tops them all. Why doesn’t the message about obeying rules through acceptance or even enforcement resonate with the British public and why won’t they comply with government’s wishes? Politicians seem unaware that if the message isn’t engaging, then on the 3 key dimensions of infections, hospitalisations and deaths, the impact of this pandemic will be worse than if government’s message resonated more effectively. More effective communications must result in greater understanding of science and common sense and adherence to, life saving rules and regulations.
It’s too late to affect the impact of poor communications to date. However it’s not too late to learn from mistakes and search for a solution to a lethal and deadly problem. That problem sits squarely in the lap of politicians. However fanciful such a concept seems, politicians must own up to their ineffective communications. Otherwise valuable opportunities to motivate the public will continue to be missed. In the absence of improved awareness and commitment from the public, it falls to the communication organisations themselves to search for more effective ways for government and politicians to capitalise on communication opportunities.