For public health organisations involved in communicable disease control, trust and reputation management is vital. In the event of a disease outbreak these organisations need to be seen as a credible source and must communicate messages to calm public fears. Yet to date there has been little focus on this issue within health communication.
A recent ECDC literature review of trust and reputation management in communicable disease public health found the evidence base to be in an emergent phase. However, elements of good practice were identified, including the need for long-term planning, strong media relations skills, proactive relationship building with key stakeholders, integration of technical functions and enhanced commitment to transparency.
This review is one in a series of ‘Insights into health communication’ on the prevention and control of communicable disease in the European context, aimed at public health professionals and professional health communicators.