Communicating the Pandemic: Improving Public Communication and Understanding



Partners and collaborators

Savanta Comres (, Professor William H. Dutton (Consultant)

Prime Minister giving press briefing about Covid-19  Image: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street / Crown Copyright

Postgraduate students

Nely Konstantinova


Good communication with all sections of the population is essential to managing the COVID-19 pandemic effectively. Our study aims to develop evidence-based recommendations to improve the communication of the pandemic by exploring how different groups receive, understand and act upon official information about COVID-19. We are conducting weekly online surveys with a representative sample of UK adults to capture public awareness and understanding of official messages, use of information sources, and relevant attitudes, values, experiences, and behaviour. Using statistical methods to analyse the survey data, we will identify differences among groups within the population and which combination of channels and messages are likely to be most appropriate for which group. To complement our survey research, a series of online discussions with groups will be carried out to explore their needs, the information barriers they might face, and how they might be communicated with effectively in more depth. Through this combination of methods, our study will provide the strongest possible evidence-based advice regarding the communication of the pandemic and the intelligibility and effectiveness of messages for different groups. Drawing on this evidence, we will deliver feasible recommendations to the appropriate bodies on how to improve public communication related to COVID-19.

Publications and outputs

The project will produce brief weekly reports and three longer project reports.

View the reports