Workshop SA5.

Risk communication – putting good practice principles into practice

Sunday, 8 September, 2019

Instructor: Paul Nathanail, Land Quality Management, UK


Risk communication can help the public understand contamination issues and make decisions about their daily lives. Risk communication is a two-way exchange of information and perceptions that builds mutual respect and a shared understanding. It is based on trust and safety.
Delegates will gain an understanding of how to effectively communicate with local communities in contentious cases in ways that fosters and builds trust, allowing the public to gain understanding that will help them make decisions from an informed standpoint.
The role of professional competence, demonstrable independence and empathy will be illustrated using case studies the instructor has been involved in during his professional career.
Exercises involving interactive role play based on real scenarios will be used to help delegates appreciate their own strengths and weakness as well as seeing how what they transmit may not always be what is received.

Who should attend?

Environmental consultants, site owners, and environmental regulators involved with sites where communication with members of the general public is essential will benefit from this course.

Detailed Course Outline & Schedule 

Time Topic


• Introduction to the trainer
• Overview of the goals of the workshop
• Attendees introduction and what they wish to gain from the workshop


    Risk communication principles
    • Active listening
    • Verbal communication
    • Written communication
    • The influence of silence


    Exercise – I: Telephone conversations
    • Expecting the unexpected
    • Dealing with the elites
    • Dealing with the concerned
    • Confidentiality and compassion


    Debrief and Questions


    Afternoon Tea  


    Visuals – painting a thousand helpful words
    • Simple English
    • Graphics as props not protection
    • Handling questions



    Exercise II – Press releases and public notices
    • The role of press releases and public notices
    • Eliciting feedback
    • Objective oriented press releases
    • Social media

    5:00 pm


    Debrief and Questions

    Course Summary
    • Dos and don’ts
    • Staying safe