Coronavirus Mistakes: Crisis Comms are Key

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 – also known as 2019-nCoV – the virus that causes COVID-19

As the quarantine aboard cruise ship Diamond Princess is increasingly proven to have been disastrously misjudged, it’s becoming apparent that the coronavirus is not acting alone as it causes devastation.

Poor crisis communications and sub-par decision-making may have been contributing to the spread.


Far from blaming super-spreaders and enforcing unreasonable quarantines, decision-makers should be using critical communications to circulate the right message at the right time, internally and to the general public, in order to keen panic to a minimum.


Comment from Pete Frasco, Senior Manager in Global Sales Engineering at BlackBerry, discussing how crisis communications must be data-driven to manage panic effectively in crises like this.

Pete Frasco, Senior Manager, Global Sales Engineering at BlackBerry


“It is becoming increasingly apparent that governments and organisations must manage the situation with extreme caution to avoid catastrophic disruption to economies and freedoms.


“Governing bodies around the world must use critical communications systems accurately and effectively, such as using networked crisis software to pinpoint people in areas of high infection at specific times. Only this way can emergency measures including evacuation and quarantine be justified and fair.


“Panic creates a monumental challenge for decision-makers. As social media rumours fly, fear can be allayed if decision-makers effectively communicate the right information with responders, health professionals and the general public. Only by taking steps to react, inform, communicate and respond in real-time can governments be sure that they are taking the best path of action to ultimately save lives.”