(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Because most people feel ambivalent about possible future pandemics, communicating effectively with them requires skillful balance on a wide range of communication ‘seesaws.’What I call the “seesaw” is a fundamental aspect of pandemic risk communication. People who are ambivalent—that is, people who are torn between two competing opinions—tend to resolve their ambivalence by favoring the viewpoint everyone else seems to be ignoring.The pandemic seesaw I discussed in my last column is the alarm-versus-reassurance seesaw. Here’s a brief summary: Some audiences for your risk communication are profoundly ambivalent about whether to shrug off the possibility of a pandemic or to worry about it and take precautions. Not all audiences are like that. Some are uninformed and uninterested and have no strong opinion. Some have already decided they’re taking pandemic risks seriously or they’re not. But some are ambivalent. And those ambivalent audiences will tend to worry all the more if your communications strike them as overly reassuring, while they’ll be inclined to shrug off the risk if your communications seem excessively alarmist.Effective risk communicators therefore try to adjust the level of alarm or reassurance in their pandemic messages on the basis of two factors: how alarmed or reassured they believe their audience currently is, and how alarmed or reassured they think it should be. You choose your seat on the seesaw with care, depending on which seat you want to entice your audience to choose.Alarm versus reassurance isn’t the only pandemic-related seesaw. There are many, including the following four.1. Confidence versus tentativenessIf you keep insisting you know what you’re doing and the situation is under control, stakeholders will start thinking you don’t and it isn’t. We’ll feel paradoxically more confident about your leadership when you point out (confidently) that influenza is always unpredictable, that managing a pandemic requires a lot of guesswork, and that there are bound to be some mistakes.As David Heymann (currently the World Health Organization’s executive director of communicable diseases) said during the SARS crisis: “We are building our boat and sailing it at the same time.” People tended to have a lot of confidence in Heymann. They had confidence not despite his acknowledgments of uncertainty but because of them. (Heymann is also very competent—but not all competent leaders generate confidence.)2. Your fault versus somebody else’sBlame is yet another seesaw. When things go wrong, there are almost always ways in which the trouble is genuinely your fault—and ways in which the fault lies elsewhere. If you blame yourself more, people blame you less. If you’re too quick to say it’s not your fault, people decide it is.This is one of the things Johnson & Johnson (J&J) got right during the 1982 Tylenol poisonings. The company blamed itself for having insufficiently tamper-proof packaging. So the ambivalent public decided the poisonings weren’t J&J’s fault, and the brand quickly recovered.3. Prepared versus unpreparedAs every business continuity manager knows, preparedness isn’t a toggle switch. You’re never fully prepared. You just keep trying to get more prepared. You always have a list of additional steps you could take. Some of them are low on your priority list; others you really expect to get to when you find the time and the budget.Have you prepared enough? Not enough? Too much? That’s the preparedness seesaw. If you tell ambivalent people you’re ready to cope with a pandemic, expect them to reproach you with everything on your list that you haven’t done. If you tell people you need a lot more resources to get ready, expect them to look hard at all the money you’ve already spent. Continuity managers would do well to think about this seesaw before heading into a budget meeting.Ironically, emergency preparedness experts have spent decades haranguing anyone who will listen that “We’re not prepared enough!” Usually the public and the money people aren’t listening. Once in a while, though, the whole society starts wondering if maybe we’re not prepared enough. That happened after Katrina, and it happened when people first woke up to the risk of pandemic flu. And that’s exactly when many emergency preparedness experts started feeling defensive—and found themselves claiming that they were really quite well prepared already. Instead of managing the seesaw, they let themselves get seesawed.4. Low frequency versus high magnitudeA severe pandemic is a low-frequency, high-magnitude risk—horrific but unlikely in any given year. Since “horrific” and “unlikely” lead to opposite conclusions about the importance of precautions, people are torn. You need your management, employees, and other stakeholders to keep both halves of this ambivalence in mind. If they forget it’s horrific, they’ll consider precautions a waste of time. If they forget it’s unlikely, they’ll blame you when it doesn’t happen soon.People new to the pandemic issue have no opinion. You need to teach them that a severe pandemic would be horrific, and you need to teach them that it’s unlikely in any given year. Then they’ll start to feel some ambivalence.Presumably, you want them to resolve their ambivalence in the end by putting more stress on “horrific” than on “unlikely.” You want them to think, “Yeah, a severe pandemic probably won’t happen soon, but look how bad it could get.” So you need to locate yourself on the seesaw’s other seat. Your core message to your ambivalent audiences: “Yeah, a severe pandemic could get really bad, but it probably won’t happen soon.”You still need to explain why you believe it is important to prepare for that low-frequency, high-magnitude worst-case pandemic. But you need to ground the explanation in an accurate (and vivid) depiction of how horrific a worst case might be, not in a misleading claim that it’s likely.And you need to stay firmly on the low-probability side of the seesaw. Give people the information they need to reach their own judgment that not preparing would be unconscionably irresponsible. Tell people you agree with this judgment—but come closer to “admitting” your agreement than to “proclaiming” it. Keep reminding everyone that a severe pandemic will probably never materialize anytime soon, that many pandemic precautions, though absolutely essential, will very likely be wasted.A playground of seesawsThese four are the tip of the iceberg. Once you start looking for seesaws, you’ll find a lot of them. Is everything a seesaw, then? Nope. When people are uninterested and uninformed, they’re unlikely to have two conflicting opinions. They probably have no opinion at all. Then the game is follow-the-leader, not seesaw. You can offer up your opinion without getting a paradoxical response.But as people start paying closer attention to pandemic issues, they are likely to acquire some ambivalence. And as soon as you sense ambivalence rather than apathy, start playing seesaw.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Dr. Sandman, Deputy Editor, contributes an original column to CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing every other week. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site, which includes an index of pandemic-related writing on the site.
Late Model points are unofficial for 2016IMCA Late Models – 1. Rob Toland, Davenport, Iowa, 800; 2. Luke Goedert, Guttenberg, Iowa, 797; 3. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, Iowa, 793; 4. Tyler Droste, Waterloo, Iowa, 786; 5. Joel Callahan, Dubuque, Iowa, 779; 6. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa, 760; 7. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, Iowa, 754; 8. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, Iowa, 752; 9. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, Iowa, 743; 10. Allan Hopp, Harlan, Iowa, 742; 11. Jason Hahne, Webster City, Iowa, 726; 12. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, Iowa, 718; 13. Nick Marolf, Wilton, Iowa, 711; 14. Ryan Griffith, Webster City, Iowa, 702; 15. Curt Schroeder, Newton, Iowa, 692; 16. Ben Seemann, Waterloo, Iowa, 690; 17. Jonathan Brauns, Muscatine, Iowa, 685; 18. Travis Denning, Sterling, Ill., 681; 19. Randy Havlik, Ankeny, Iowa, 680; 20. Tyler Bruening, Decorah, Iowa, 677.Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds – 1. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 1,200; 2. Chris Abelson, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,192; 3. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev., 1,183; 4. Eddie Kirchoff, Gillette, Wyo., 1,167; 5. A.J. Ward, Ionia, Mich., and Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, both 1,162; 7. Matt Cole, Vestal, N.Y., and Ricky Stephan, South Sioux City, Neb., both 1,156; 9. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D., 1,154; 10. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup, Iowa, 1,153; 11. Jacob Murray, Hartford, Iowa, 1,148; 12. Steven Bowers Jr., Topeka, Kan., 1,143; 13. Will Ward, Cobleskill, N.Y., 1,139; 14. Dustin Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,137; 15. Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn., 1,136; 16. Tyler Frye, Belleville, Kan., 1,133; 17. Tim Ward, Harcourt, Iowa, 1,129; 18. Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa, 1,126; 19. Mitch Morris, Long Grove, Iowa, 1,125; 20. Myron DeYoung, Stanton, Mich., 1,114.IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Andy Shouse, Mustang, Okla., 769; 2. Michael Stien, Ceylon, Minn., 759; 3. Marcus Thomas, Corsicana, Texas, 758; 4. Tyler Drueke, Eagle, Neb., 757; 5. Jason Martin, Lincoln, Neb., 751; 6. Clint Benson, Papillion, Neb., 743; 7. Robert Vetter, Wolfe City, Texas, 740; 8. Zach Blurton, Quinter, Kan., 730; 9. Chad Wilson, North Richland Hills, Texas, 729; 10. Colin Smith, Sheldon, Iowa, and Raven Culp, Mesquite, Texas, both 728; 12. Kenneth Duke, Selinsgrove, Pa., 723; 13. Scott Lutz, Jonestown, Pa., 714; 14. Brandon Allen, St. Peter, Minn., 712; 15. Zach Newlin, Millerstown, Pa., 710; 16. Dalton Stevens, Scurry, Texas, and Tyler Russell, Abbott, Texas, both 707; 18. Michelle Melton, Flower Mound, Texas, 706; 19. Luke Cranston, Holcomb, Kan., 694; 20. John Ricketts, Burleson, Texas, 691.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 1,200; 2. Travis Van Straten, Hortonville, Wis., 1,191; 3. Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 1,183; 4. Derek Green, Granada, Minn., 1,180; 5. Dustin Larson, Worthington, Minn., 1,169; 6. Donavon Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,165; 7. David Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,164; 8. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,159; 9. Chad Bruns, Wakefield, Neb., 1,151; 10. Kyle Pfeifer, Hill City, Kan., 1,144; 11. John Oliver Jr., Danville, Iowa, and Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn., both 1,141; 13. Brian Blessington, Breda, Iowa, 1,140; 14. Jason Rogers, Selden, Kan., 1,139; 15. Casey Woken, Norton, Kan., and Kirk Martin, Weatherford, Texas, both 1,138; 17. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn., 1,134; 18. Chris Mills, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,133; 19. Ron Pettitt, Norfolk, Neb., 1,119; 20. Greg Gill, Muscatine, Iowa, 1,116.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Shannon Anderson, Des Moines, Iowa, 1,196; 2. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 1,193; 3. Cody Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 1,192; 4. Justin Luinenburg, Reading, Minn., 1,190; 5. Damon Richards, David City, Neb., 1,162; 6. Eric Stanton, Carlisle, Iowa, and John Watson, Des Moines, Iowa, both 1,156; 8. Andrew Bertsch, Minot, N.D., and TeJay Mielke, Norfolk, Neb., both 1,155; 10. Roy Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb., and Brady Bencken, Oakley, Kan., both 1,149; 12. Tiffany Bittner, Hampton, Neb., 1,135; 13. Jason Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,131; 14. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids, Iowa, 1,130; 15. Austin Jahnz, Lewisville, Minn., 1,127; 16. August Bach, Newton, Iowa, 1,124; 17. Dave Riley, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,120; 18. Leah Wroten, Independence, Iowa, 1,119; 19. Jeremy Hoskinson, Norfolk, Neb., 1,118; 20. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 1,116.Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods – 1. Daniel Gottschalk, Ellis, Kan., 1,200; 2. Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1,197; 3. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, Iowa, 1,196; 4. Kyle Prauner, Norfolk, Neb., 1,189; 5. Doug Smith, Lanesboro, Iowa, 1,184; 6. Matthew Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 1,167; 7. Clinton Luellen, Minburn, Iowa, 1,161; 8. Robby Rosselli, Minot, N.D., 1,160; 9. Jared VanDeest, Holland, Iowa, 1,157; 10. Johnathon Logue, Boone, Iowa, and Jesse Skalicky, Fargo, N.D., both 1,152; 12. Nick Meyer, Whittemore, Iowa, 1,148; 13. Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, Wis., 1,147; 14. Jake McBirnie, Boone, Iowa, 1,146; 15. Joey Gower, Quincy, Ill., 1,141; 16. Karl Brewer, Vermillion, S.D., and Nelson Vollbrecht, Stanton, Neb., both 1,133; 18. Erik Laudenschlager, Minot, N.D., 1,131; 19. Kelly Jacobson, Fargo, N.D., 1,128; 20. Randy Roberts, Boone, Iowa, 1,124.Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods – 1. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,190; 2. Ronnie Welborn, Princeton, Texas, 1,155; 3. Cory Williams, Slaton, Texas, 1,130; 4. Kamera Kaitlin McDonald, Keller, Texas, 1,059; 5. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 998; 6. James Hanusch, Belton, Texas, 947; 7. Dustin Leatherman, Muskogee, Okla., 942; 8. Thomas Walp, Olney, Texas, 930; 9. Robert Scrivner, Waco, Texas, 924; 10. Cullen Hill, Healdton, Okla., 869; 11. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas, 862; 12. Justin Nabors, Kemp, Texas, 781; 13. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prairie, Texas, 780; 14. Dustin Robinson, Post, Texas, and Jessie Hoskins, Longdale, Okla., both 776; 16. T.J. Green, Robinson, Texas, 759; 17. Logan Ellis, Wagoner, Okla., 755; 18. Austin Gooding, Fort Worth, Texas, 731; 19. Garett Rawls, China Spring, Texas, 718; 20. Scott Gray, Vernal, Utah, 699.Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Nate Coopman, Mankato, Minn., 1,194; 2. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 1,185; 3. Brendon Yamry, Rice, Minn., 1,170; 4. Tyler Thompson, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,148; 5. Scott Spellmeier, Beatrice, Neb., 1,142; 6. Shannon Pospisil, Norfolk, Neb., 1,137; 7. Cody Van Dusen, Atalissa, Iowa, and Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, both 1,133; 9. Richard Crow, Grand Island, Neb., 1,131; 10. Brooke Fluckiger, Columbus, Neb., 1,127; 11. Jake Newsom, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,120; 12. Lance Mielke, Norfolk, Neb., 1,116; 13. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 1,111; 14. Luke Jackson, South Sioux City, Neb., 1,099; 15. Levi Heath, Wilton, Iowa, 1,098; 16. Joe Bunkofske, Armstrong, Iowa, 1,093; 17. Dustin Jackson, Oneill, Neb., 1,088; 18. Jed Trebelhorn, Winthrop, Minn., 1,086; 19. Randy Nelson, Albion, Neb., 1,069; 20. Colby Kaspar, Columbus, Neb., 1,062.
But Ibe said other team’s results were of no consequence to them. “The manager didn’t want to focus on any other team, just focus on us and keeping that consistency, keeping winning games and trying to get the three points,” he said. “It was great to get the three points and keep climbing the table. We just need to keep doing well. “With good players coming back in, also (Philippe) Coutinho as well, hopefully we will climb even higher. “Anything is possible right now. We will take it game by game and do it again on Wednesday (against Southampton in the Capital One Cup). “I was just happy with the result, keeping that consistency with three wins on the bounce – hopefully we can make it a fourth.” There does appear to be a growing momentum under Klopp but he cannot see it himself yet. “Maybe I should feel it but I don’t. We play again on Wednesday, that is my problem,” said the German, who apart from the international break has had a midweek game every week of his tenure since October 17. Liverpool’s rise under Jurgen Klopp has seen them move to within six points of Premier League leaders Manchester City but forward Jordon Ibe insists they are not looking at anyone else but themselves. Sunday’s 1-0 win over Swansea – Klopp’s first at home in the league since taking over from Brendan Rodgers – made it six victories in the last seven matches in all competitions but more importantly lifted them into sixth place and saw the return of long-term injured duo Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge. They are four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who could only draw at Norwich at the same time the Reds were grinding a way past the Swans, and two adrift of Tottenham, who were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea earlier in the day. “I would like to feel better and say ‘Three days off celebrating a good week’ but we don’t have time for this. “We are on the road next week (at Southampton and then Newcastle on Sunday) so it is difficult – but of course we feel good. “Monday we will be back in the race and preparing for Southampton.” There was more good news from Klopp with playmaker Coutinho in contention for the trip to the south coast. “Philippe had a very intensive session on Saturday but we decided two or three days ago that we didn’t want to risk [him] for this game,” he added. “Now I think he’s fit. I think he’s ready for Southampton.” Defeat at Anfield may have not done much for Swansea’s poor run of results which now extends to one win since the end of August but the performance encouraged under-pressure manager Garry Monk, who rejected accusations the players were not delivering for him. “Anyone who suggests that would be very stupid,” he said. “I never have any doubt in these players and how good they are, what they are capable of. “We have worked hard to put a week of working into these players but unfortunately like every team you go through a difficult period. “Of course results are the be-all and end-all, we have to get points on the board but if you perform like that with those principles and work ethic you have confidence results will begin to pick up real soon. “It is my responsibility to get results and I understand that and you can’t continue to not get points. “It is only a matter of time before results turn and you will see us flying again.” Press Association