Communicating COVID-19 Vaccine

PRINDONESIA.CO | Monday, March 22, 2021
Trust adalah inti dari efektivitas komunikasi. Kalau kita tidak yakin tentang kebenaran suatu pesan, risikonya semua hal yang dikemukakan dalam pesan itu akan diragukan.

In public communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, global guidelines are the main reference that needs attention.   


By: Noke Kiroyan, Chairman & Chief Consultant of KIROYAN Partners 

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO –  It should be understood that apart from general rules of communication, the implementer of public communication should not make too much promise about unknown matters so as not to result in a loss of trust. If the public at large loses confidence in the messages conveyed by public officials, the public health situation will worsen because the directions given are not followed. 

On that basis, the principle of communication for the COVID-19 pandemic is short and dense: “under-promise and over-deliver”. The meaning is, do not promise anything high, but try so that in fulfilling that promise, we go beyond what has been promised. The goal is to build trust. Once society loses confidence in what public officials say, the trust will be difficult to rebuild. 

Trust is the essence of communication effectiveness. If we are unsure about the truth of a message, there is the risk that everything that is said in the message will be questioned. Especially when it comes to mass health problems that threaten society as a whole. One example of poor public communication occurred in the United States which resulted in unrest in the society of that country. 

On May 15, 2020, President Donald Trump inaugurated "Operation Warp Speed". The term warp speed refers to the fictional movie Star Trek in which the travel between galaxies is possible at speeds exceeding the speed of light (300,000 km per second), which in the film is called warp speed. Thus, Operation Warp Speed can simply be translated as "Operation Fast as Light", even though the meaning of warp speed is actually faster than lightning. From the beginning, many felt uncomfortable with the name of this operation which too much feels like marketing and gave the impression of prioritizing speed above all else with such a bombastic name.