Communication in Times of Crisis. The Case of Kerala's Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Academic Paper, 2020

79 Pages, Grade: A




Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Research Design

Chapter 4: Case Study

Chapter 5: Findings and Analysis

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Chapter 7: Further Scope of Research




I wish to express my gratitude to all those who have been a contributor to my research in all dimensions. The contribution of each and every respondent, faculty, family, and friends holds great importance to me.

I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank my professors, without their valuable insights this research would not have been possible.


This research focuses on the process of communication between the state government and the citizens during a crisis situation and the formulation of an effective response strategy when faced with a significant threat to health or safety. My specific research interests are 1) the nature of decision - making processes that influence the perception of the audience towards the government, and 2) how the government body makes sense of an ambiguous and unpredictable situation, in order to build credibility with the audience and influence their behaviour. This is a qualitative research focusing on Kerala government’s response to the SARS Covid-19 pandemic crisis in India from the months of January - May. A global public health crisis has the potential to critically harm the nation’s economy and thus, requires strategic planning to deal with the crisis. However, even though faced with H1N1 influenza pandemic and Nipah Virus epidemic in the past decade, the country still struggles with developing effective response strategy and contingency plans when faced with an unexpected, highly unpredictable public health crisis. My research understands the process between the development of a crisis response strategy and its implementation. Additionally, it also addresses the positive/negative perception created in the minds of the public through media.


According to WHO, influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity. Viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses (WHO, 2010).1 A global public health crisis, such as infectious disease epidemics, influenza or contaminated water and food supplies, has the potential to critically affect a nation’s economy. For developing countries like India, with excessive population, frequent international travellers, and inadequate medical infrastructure, these public health crises are hazardous. Furthermore, globalisation has led to international trade dependencies for food, clothing and basic commodities. Multinationals and large corporation in India depend heavily to inter-connected trade routes and easy access to airports and seaports. With the on-going pandemic, companies have lost access to these routes which has led to economic distress in the country.

However, despite having faced several serious public health threats during the past decade, governments worldwide and the global public health community continues to struggle with developing sufficient contingency plans and effective response strategies in order to be prepared for the unexpected, extremely unpredictable, and potentially life- threatening public health crisis (Gibbons, 2007; Kahn, 2009; Koplan et al., 2009). The experiences of the 1918 Flu Pandemic and the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza global pandemic are examples of highly serious threats to the public health worldwide causing grave social and economic consequences. With regard to the economic effects 1918 Flu Pandemic, we find that more severely affected areas experienced a relative decline in manufacturing employment, manufacturing output, bank assets, and durable goods consumption (Sergio Correia, Stephan Luck, and Emil Verner, 2020).

On December 31, 20192 China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) about several people suffering from pneumonia, the virus was unknown. The cases were on the rise and WHO had ruled out the possibility of the virus being SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), 2002-03. On January 7, the virus was identified to be from the Coronavirus family and named 2019 n-CoV and China reported its first death from the virus on January 11. The first case outside China was reported on January 13 in Thailand. In the next few days, US, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan reported positive cases. By January 26, with around 200 more cases and a third death; several cities in China were placed under strict lockdown suspending air and rail travel. On January 30 WHO declared the virus a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) as China had reported 7,711 cases and the death toll rose to 170. As February approached, new cases were confirmed outside of China in India, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the US, the UAE and Vietnam. The first death outside China was reported on February 2, in Philippines of a Chinese man from Wuhan. On February 7, Li Wenliang, the doctor among the first healthcare professionals who alerted about the virus died. In just two months, on February 9, China surpassed its death toll of the SARS, 2002-03 epidemic recording 811 deaths and 37,198 positive cases.

On February 11, WHO announced the new coronavirus disease to be called “Covid-19”, later it was referred as SARS-CoV-2. On February 13, Japan reported its first death and the following day Egypt being the first country in Africa, reported its first positive case. Between February 14 - 16, France and Taiwan reported their first deaths respectively. With this, France was the first country in Europe to report a death from the virus. On February 19, Iran reported its first cases, and hours later confirmed two deaths while South Korea reported its first death on February 20 from the virus. Meanwhile, China’s scenario went from bad to worse with total number of cases reaching to 74,576 and the death toll rising to 2,118 and Israel reported its first confirmed case on February 21. In the later part of February, the virus was spreading to different parts of the world with Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Norway, Romania, Greece, Georgia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Macedonia, Brazil, Estonia, Denmark, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands, Lithuania and Wales reporting their first confirmed cases. The month came to a close with 82,000 positive cases worldwide and more than 2,800 deaths.

The beginning of March saw a new positive case in Saudi Arabia on March 05 and Italy imposing strict quarantine measures and cancelling sports events. On March 10, Lebanon and Morocco reported their first deaths from COVID-19. Finally, on March 11 WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic while Turkey, Ivory Coast, Honduras, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Panama and Mongolia confirmed their first positive cases.

The situation in India is grave and it surpassed China’s coronavirus cases reporting 85,940 positive cases and 2,752 deaths on May 16. On May 29, India’s death toll surpassed China’s with 4.706 deaths. As of May 30 there are 6,148,518 positive cases worldwide with 370,472 deaths and 2,727,690 recovered cases.3


I. Risk Communication

Risk communication has flourished for decades in a number of applied disciplines (for example, environmental risk studies, disaster management, media studies); the theoretical and conceptual literature, in particular, is rich in these fields (Glik DC, 2007). Since 1990s, there has been steady increase in the field of research related to risk communication. The studies are usually related to the risk communication theories and guidelines, risk perception, and lessons learnt from the global outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010 and SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) in 2002-2003.


The ECDC report defined risk communication as “the exchange of information about the health risks caused by the environmental, industrial or agricultural processes, and policies or products among individuals, groups and institutions” (9). Therefore, risk communication can be defined as a “dynamic” and “interactive” process between different stakeholders. Barbara Reynolds book on Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) described risk communication as “a discussion about an adverse outcome and the probability of that outcome occurring”. It further stated “through risk communication the communicator hopes to provide the receiver with information about the expected type (good or bad) and magnitude (weak or strong) of an outcome from a behavior or exposure” (Barbara Reynolds and Matthew Seeger, 2012).

According to Covello and Sandman, historically, the governments did not prioritise the involvement of the public in matters of risk and crisis, their aim was to protect the public (Barbara Reynolds and Matthew Seeger, 2012). With time, as risk communication emerged as a prominent body of theory, the public became an important part in the monitoring, management and implementation of risk management decisions. Today, there is a mutual understanding that for effective and responsible risk management, public needs to be an integral part of the decision making process. The initial studies related to risk communication in public health domain were related to the communicable diseases around the mid-1990s. Nicoll & Murray, 2002 and Reynolds & Seeger, 2005 point out that risk communication was involved in the field of public health as “threats to health from the likes of tuberculosis, HIV, influenza, anti-microbial resistance, chemical accidents and bio-terrorism” and also escalating with “‘increased movements of people, animals and goods, climate change and industrialisation”. With the advent of globalisation and rapid change where the national borders provide no security from communicable diseases and with the emergence of new communicable diseases, the importance for risk communication has become more evident. Additionally, Reynolds and Seeger note that the anthrax attack of 2001 in the US and its perceived threat was followed soon with global spread of SARS, which “placed significant pressure on the public health community to communicate effectively within context[s] of immediacy, threat and high uncertainty” (Reynolds & Seeger, 2005). This highlighted the need for adequate risk communication models in order to respond effectively to the threat that global communicable diseases presented.

Furthermore, the government agencies responded with the development of risk communication theories and guidelines and recognising it as an essential component of the larger theory of risk management and analysis. Health Protection Scotland’s advisory document for communication with the public about health risks consists of a risk communication model in the risk management process. [13]

Figure 1: The role of risk communication in the risk management cycle, adapted from (13, 25)

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Today, it is widely recognised that effective risk communication is required to minimise the potential damage that the global spread of communicable diseases causes socially and economically. An effective risk communication strategy is judged on the basis of its potential to meet the requirements of all the stakeholders especially the vulnerable groups and its ability to push the public towards the necessary actions.

Theoretical Models of Risk Communication

I will briefly discuss the four risk communication models by Covello et. al, 2001 to understand the concept in depth -

1. The mental noise model: This model states, “When people are in a state of high concern because they perceive a significant threat, their ability to process information effectively and efficiently is severely impaired” (Covello et. al in 2001). Their inability to process information effectively and efficiently can result in hysterical emotions, prominently fear, worry and anger, which leads to incomplete understanding of rational discussions with the individual. This disturbed emotional state generated mental noise. Hence, it is necessary that risk communication, is clear, timely and comprehensible for the public.
2. The negative dominance model: This model deals with the human psychology closely. This model states that in a hysterically emotional state, an individual is more likely to put more value on losses and negative information/outcomes than on positive information/outcomes. According to this model, negative information/outcome (over­dramatization by the media of the deaths during the pandemic or rapid spread of the disease) is more likely to affect the audience for a longer period of time. Covello stressed that “risk communications are most effective when they focus on what is being done rather than what is not done” (Covello et. al, 2001).
3. The trust determination model: In order to manage the pandemic effectively, public trust in the institutions is a must. When the people feel they have been unfairly treated, lied to or been provided wrong information, their natural instinct is to distrust the authorities. Trust is developed over a period of time through necessary actions, listening and communication skill. According to this theory, if the trust is severely damaged between the authorities and the public, it can be rebuild through trustworthy third party sources and use of the four pairs of trust determination factors - caring and empathy; dedication and commitment; competence and expertise; and honesty and openness. Covello et. al, 2001, p.20).
4. The risk perception model: The perception of risk will differ from person to person based on the cultural, linguistic, ethnic/racial, gender, and geographical differences respectively. According to this model, risks that are perceived to be manmade, permanent, involuntary, unfamiliar, exaggerated, unfairly distributed and out of control of the individual will certainly influence the individual’s level of fear, anxiety, worry, distrust, anger, outrage, helplessness and compliance to officially recommended protective measures like frequent hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing, social distancing measures and vaccination uptake (Vincent & Peter, 2001).

II. Crisis Communication

The word crisis is derived from the Greek word, “krisis”, which means “to separate or to judge” (American Heritage dictionary, 2009). Muhren &Van de Walle, 2010, provides a somewhat complex understanding of krisis as an event which is “a moment of decision, judgment or choice”. When extended to organisations, crises are defined as ““low probability, high impact events that threaten the viability of the organization, are characterized by ambiguity of cause, effect, and means of resolution, as well as by a belief that decisions must be made swiftly” (Pearson & Claire, 2008). Crisis communication is when organisations resolve these threatening events and implement response strategies. Hence, crisis communication is the process through which government agencies manages and mitigates the public’s reaction to a developing crisis, public emergency and disaster event (Reynolds, 2007; Reynolds & Seeger, 2005).

Crisis Types

There are different classifications of crisis depending on various definitions but most scholars limit themselves to crisis types by cause, intent, responsibility, or time-scale.

Parson (1996) divided crisis into three types - First, immediate, there is little or no warning that a crisis situation is building up, Second, emerging, the situation is slow in the beginning but extends over time and is quite unpredictable, Third, sustained, the crisis can last for weeks, months or even years.

On the other hand, Mitroff (2004), divided crisis events into seven major categories - First, economic, such as labour issues, stock market dips or crashes and economic downturn, Second, informational, such as dis-information, data tampering and loss of important data, Third, physical, such as product failures, loss of key equipment, material supplies and explosion, Fourth, human resources, death of key personnel, corruption and workplace violence, Fifth, reputational, such as defamation, gossip, rumours and damage to the organisation’s reputation, Sixth, psychopathic acts, such as product tampering, terrorisms, criminal acts and hostage taking and Seventh, natural disasters, fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Seon-Kyoung and I-Huei (2010) expanded Mitroff’s research and added an Eighth category, mixed and general crisis.

Figure 2: The Five Phases of Crisis Management (Pearson & Mitroff, 1993, p. 53)

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Crisis communication can be summarised as a process of information collection, information process, decision making, and information distribution of necessary data to address a crisis situation to the internal and external stakeholders (Hale et al., 2005). The three phases of crisis management are - pre-crisis, crisis response and post-crisis. The most important stage is crisis response as it influences the public opinion and is significantly visible to the stakeholders. It determines the stakeholders’ response towards the organisation’s handling of the crisis situation. Inappropriate response can make a bad situation worse (Coombs, 2010a; Hale et al., 2005). According to Gregory (2008), in order to turn around a crisis situation, internal and external communication that is truthful, consistent, and empathetic is extremely crucial. However, every poor handling of a crisis situation is learning in retrospect.

Gregory (2008) pointed out that crisis communication for an organisation is a difficult balancing act. Organisations need to carefully curate what messages to give out internally and externally. In non-crisis situations, information usually flows through the organisation chain- in-command, while in crisis situations, the channelling of information becomes more complex (Quarantelli, 1998; Ulmer, 2001). Falkenheimer and Heide (2010) emphasize that the two most important rules of crisis communication are to respond immediately and get information out to all key stakeholders in simple and understandable messages. For organisations to maintain credibility with the stakeholders the management has to respond quickly; information has to be effectively processed and given out at the same time to all affected parties (Ashcroft, 1997; Evans et al. in 2001; Nikolaev, 2010).

III. Differences between Risk Communication and Crisis Communication

Risk communication and Crisis communication, though inter-connected differ in definition and scope. Although, risk communication and crisis communication share certain characteristics and have similar operational features, such as mass media (delivery method) and informing the public (basic objective), their fundamental goals are different. Risk communication focuses on potential situations of harm and danger whereas crisis communication addresses a specific event or action that has already occurred or will occur in the near future. When we consider, risk communication in the public health context, it is usually referred as the public warning about threats to some extend to an individual’s health, either from a specific behaviour (e.g.: smoking, alcohol abuse, drug overdose, unsafe sexual contact) or from an environmental hazard (e.g.: accidental release of a dangerous substance or toxic chemicals). It is the basis of public health messages and is aimed at influencing a behaviour/pattern change or developing information based campaigns to inform the public about potential risks and persuade them to change their behaviour to modify risk (Seeger et al., 2008, p. 9). Risk communication is based on what is already known about a situation and there is no emphasis or consideration about what is unknown about the situation or event. It is always aimed at preventing or modifying behaviour/practices depending on a persuasive or compelling piece of “evidence”. For example, consumption of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy will lead to birth defects (Reynolds, 2007). Whereas, crisis communication is an on-going process that takes place simultaneously with the actual crisis event, as it unfurls and evolves, until there is a resolution. According to the available literature, during a crisis situation, the government’s credibility and public trust is strongly influenced through the consistency of the messages from the various organisations and the perception of consensus from the leaders directly in charge of the response/decision-making (Freimuth et. al., 2008; Hilyard et al., 2010; Holmes et al., 2009; Seeger et al., 2008; Shore, 2003). Crisis communication deals with what is known and what is unknown about the specific event. The challenging, complicated and complex nature of crisis communication is determined primarily by two components - ambiguity and uncertainty. Another significant difference between the two concepts is the influence of time. Crisis situations are often characterised by the significant time pressure and mostly lack complete information. Nonetheless, the organisations are expected to provide time bound solutions/responses to the public and not wait for until the situation becomes a little clearer or “under control”.

IV. Public Health Crisis

A Public health crisis can be defined as “severe threats to the physical and psychological security, stability, health, and well-being of the public resulting from complex, nonlinear, and unanticipated interactions” (Seeger et al., 2008, p. 6). To simplify, a Public health crisis can occur for a variety of cause and can potentially lead to widespread harm. Examples include natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, acts of bio-terrorism or threats of nuclear contamination. They can also occur from outbreaks of naturally occurring infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, flu or contamination of food or water. As it is a result of varied causes and differs in levels of severity, it creates diverse situations and requires different kinds of response strategies. Hence, a public health crisis poses unique challenges for the government agencies, organisations and personnel’ task with the situations and formulating response strategies. With globalisation, contemporary public health threats are complex and have the potential to affect a widespread population. The traditional response strategies which focused on planning and training to contain/manage a crisis on a local level aren’t equipped to meet the challenges of a complicated and global public health threat. The threat at a local level was understood and positively identified whereas the emerging global threats have considerable degrees of uncertainty and ambiguity. In order to successfully manage these threats, the global public health community needs to:-

1. Possess the ability to engage in an adaptive and flexible manner
2. Successfully apply the principles of organisational learning to the challenges posed by dynamic and unpredictable events
3. Strengthen the response strategy for the future unanticipated crisis threats (Seeger et al., 2008, pp. 16-17).

The government agencies and the public health community play an important role in coordinating an emergency crisis response and preparedness when dealing with a national public health crisis. They are front runners and are responsible for protecting people, conserving resources and mitigating the disaster.

Pandemic Flu

Reynolds (2007) stated “a severe influenza pandemic may be one of the most complex communication challenges we face”. The CDC defines a pandemic as a “global disease outbreak” and an influenza pandemic as a “new (novel) influenza A virus which is able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way”. [4] According to Reynolds (2007), a significant characteristic of pandemic flu is an atypical number of infections and massive deaths in a short period of time. Pandemic flu represents a unique public health crisis because it is unpredictable and highly contagious, resulting in widespread infections from a single case in a matter of days or weeks. An influenza pandemic is not a singular event that takes place in a confined or defined geographical area, it spreads extensively lasting weeks or months, infecting communities of different sizes across the globe. A Pandemic flu is different from seasonal flu outbreaks. A seasonal flu is a regular illness that is also communicable and contagious but unlike a pandemic flu, a seasonal flu vaccine is available and a certain amount of population will have some degree of immunity to the virus. However, for a pandemic flu there is no available vaccine and the public health community is aware that a vaccine will not be available for days or months after the new virus is identified (Reynolds, 2007, pp 35-37). Despite advances in medical science and vaccines, Dr. Eric Toner, a Senior Associate in the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) argues that the threat from the pandemic flu is still undervalued in its potential to infect the entire country simultaneously or in a short span of time. She says

Conversations about influenza mostly turn on it being a naturally occurring outbreak,
simply because pandemic flu is a regular occurrence, but the origin doesn’t really matter.
The management challenges are extreme if it is a novel strain and pandemic flu is a great
example of an extreme public health emergency (Staff, 2007, March 1, p. 10)”.

Even though the pandemic flu is a potential threat to livelihood, it isn’t given much importance during preparation for disaster management. Most weather related disasters which happen only for a short period of time and provided greater importance during emergency preparation. Reynolds (2007) argued that the majority of the population wouldn’t take any necessary actions to prepare early for the treat even though they are provided with clear threat information.

1918 Flu Pandemic

It was one of the most severe pandemics of the 20th century. According to CDC, it was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of the avian origin. The virus first showed symptoms in the military personnel in the United States in spring of 1918.4 The virus spread worldwide in 1918-1919 and “it is estimated that about 500 million people or one third of the world’s population became infected with it”. The estimated death count worldwide was 50 million people. Unlike previous pandemics, the pandemic resulted in higher mortality rates among the “healthy young adults”. With no vaccine or antibiotics to protect against the influenza pandemic, control effects were limited to “non-pharmaceutical inventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly”.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Source:

The Pandemic spread in three waves. The first wave occurred during the spring of 1918, where the first few cases were detected at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas. During this time, U.S. was engaged in WWI and hence, hundreds of troops were deployed across the Atlantic. The pandemic peaked in the U.S. during the second wave, in the fall of 1918. The economy suffered severely as factories were forced to close due to sickness amongst workers and there was also a shortage of medical personnel. The third wave came during the winter and spring of 1919, which added to the existing death toll. The Pandemic finally subsided during the summer of 1919.

Sergio and Stephan (2020)5 point out that first, the areas affected adversely by the 1918 Flu Pandemic saw a “sharp and persistent decline in economic activity”. Second, the cities that implemented extensive non-pharmaceutical inventions experienced no adverse effects rather saw a growth in economic activity when the pandemic subsided. The industries majorly hit with the pandemic were “manufacturing employment, manufacturing output, bank assets, and durable goods consumption”. They determined that pandemics depress economic activity due to decline in both supply and demand (Eichenbaum et al. 2020). The early Public Health measures “reduce peak mortality rates—flattening the curve—and lower cumulative mortality rates” (Markel et al. 2007, Bootsmaa et al. 2007). The swift implementation of NPIs contributes to the flattening of the economic curve and “reinforcing the effects of more traditional economic policy interventions” (Gourinchas 2020). They concluded that NPI’s are the means to attack the root of the problem, mortality and could also save the economy.

H1N1 Influenza Pandemic

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. The H1N1 virus responsible for the Spanish Flu, affected the people in 2009 as well. The novel H1N1 virus was first detected in April of 2009 in the United States. It raised concern in the global public health community that a potentially devastating flu pandemic was imminent. It is estimated that between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide in the first year of the virus. The CDC identified the influenza as the combination of several flu virus genes previously not seen together and one never identified in humans before. During this pandemic, the mortality rate was highest among individuals below the age of 65 years and targeted globally around 80 percent of the younger population. As compared to the previous pandemics, the impact of H1N1 flu pandemic was less severe in the first year. According to the CDC, it is estimated that around 3 percent of the world population died during the 1918 Pandemic whereas, around 0.001 percent to 0.007 world population died due to respiratory illness during the H1N1 pandemic.

On June 11, 2009 World Health Organisation declared it a global pandemic, stating that “nearly 30,000 confirmed cases [of H1N1] have been reported (to date) in 74 countries”. Further, WHO released pandemic alert levels and recommended actions for each phase.

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Figure 4: WHO Pandemic levels and Recommended Actions

In order to develop official government response to the Pandemic, the United States organisation CDC tackled the pandemic with a multi-faceted strategy. The prominent response strategies included communicating effectively with diverse audiences, the critical need to gain publics’ trust by establishing and maintaining credibility, balancing several organisational goals, provide immediate and accurate information to the media outlets 24/7. On August 10, 2010 WHO declared an end to the global H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, however, the virus continues to circulate as a seasonal flu.


1. Research Problem:

Risk communication in a pandemic is a subject that has not been studied extensively previously in India. The disaster response strategy is familiar to people but in-depth analysis is yet to be done. The research aims to understand the process between the development of a crisis response strategy and its implementation. Additionally, it also addresses the positive/negative perception created in the minds of the public through media.

2. Research Question:

An examination of effective communication in times of crisis: the case of Kerala's handling of COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Hypothesis:

The state of Kerala created a positive perception in the mind of the publics while handling a global health crisis.

4. Objectives:

The research was guided by following objectives:

i) Identify, with the help of content analysis, the current process of communication during a public health crisis to the citizens/publics with a specific focus on Kerala.
ii) Describe, using survey and interviews the public’s perception of the local government’s handling of the crisis.
iii) Provide considerations, on how to improve risk communication in the event of a future global public health crisis.

5. Utility of the Research:

The research will help to illuminate and understand a state government’s decision making process and effective response strategy during a global public health crisis. It will also help to identify in gaps between the government’s measures and the ground reality. This will prove beneficial when dealing with an epidemic/pandemic in the near future. The research will also be a basis for further research related to risk communication in India.

6. Methodology and Method:

This research will be conducted using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

The Qualitative method focuses on content analysis of all the press releases from the state of Kerala, news articles on a National level and blog posts to understand the perception created through Media. Additionally, it also includs expert interviews from the Public Relations industry and the journalists to get a better understanding of the crisis communication. Tentatively, the experts to be interviewed are:

i) V. M. - a Corporate affairs and Communications Industry Expert
ii) K. J. - Director at Orion PR & Digital Pvt. Ltd

The Quantitative analysis relies upon online survey. The Online survey is a simple tool that accumulates data without asking tedious questions to the respondents. It will help me understand the respondents’ perception (positive/negative/neutral) towards the Kerala government’s handling of the crisis. On the other hand, the expert interviews provides opinions of the people working in the industry, this gives the research an all-round approach and hence, examines the risk communication strategy in detail.


1 asked questions/pandemic/en/


3 https://www


5 flu.html

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Communication in Times of Crisis. The Case of Kerala's Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Media and Entertainment)
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Communication, Public Relations Covid 19, Pandemic
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Arzoo Singh (Author), 2020, Communication in Times of Crisis. The Case of Kerala's Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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