David Ropeik

Author, award-winning television reporter, teacher, consultant, public speaker; all of David’s work has been directed toward the same goal; to develop in-depth knowledge about an area of public interest, to synthesize that knowledge, and to provide that synthesis in a clear, entertaining, relevant way so people can benefit from that information. For the past decade, his focus has been on applying a better understanding of the way people perceive risk to the challenge of risk communication and overall risk management.


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Risk Communication - A Tool for Relationship Management

Many firms offer advice in what they call risk communication. Our approach is unique in several ways, beginning with the definition of what risk communication actually means:

Actions, words, and other interactions that incorporate and respect the perceptions of the information recipients, intended to help people make more informed decisions about threats to their health and safety.

    Note the first word in the definition. Actions. Unlike most firms, we believe that risk communication goes far beyond messaging. It is a matter of what you do, not just what you say. It is a vital part of overall risk management, applicable at all times, not just when crises hit, and a strategic tool for policy makers and senior managers as well as communications staff.

    We also have a more mature definition of the goal of risk communication than most firms. We believe it is a strategic tool for what we call Relationship Management, developing and maintaining positive working relationships with various stakeholders involved in risk issues. These issues are fraught with emotion which often creates conflict and mistrust. Understanding why people feel the way they do, and respecting the reality of those perceptions, lays the foundation for honest and respectful interactions. That respect in turn builds trust, which facilitates better relationships, and progress.

    We also offer unique expertise. David Ropeik, founder and principal, has a background no one else in the field can match. He was an award-winning reporter for 25 years. He taught risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an internationally recognized expert in risk perception, author of “How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts”, co-author of “Risk! A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You”, and more than 30 academic and news media articles on risk perception and risk communication.

A Unique Approach, A Unique Background, Unique Value