Trust is Key to Effective Public Communication

Date Dec 09, 2020

 - On December 9, an Online International Conference on “Effective Public Communication for an Inclusive Response to and Recovery from COVID-19” was held. -




What is the most important lesson learned from the COVID-19 crisis in terms of Public Communication? Government agencies and experts across the world answered “the importance of trust.”


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST, Minister Park Yang-woo), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Korean Development Institute School of Public Policy Management (KDIS) jointly held an international conference today on the topic of “Effective Public Communication for an Inclusive Response to and Recovery from COVID-19.” In light of the current COVID-19 situation, this event was held online and broadcast live on the KTV YouTube channel.


Minister Park Yang-woo, OECD Deputy Secretary-General Jeffrey Schlagenhauf and KDIS Dean You Jong-il, as well as various public communication experts from Korea and abroad, participated in this conference to share their public communication experiences in response to the COVID-19 crisis and explore future directions.


The most noticeable word in their presentations was “Trust.” Many speakers pointed out the importance of trust in public communication as the key lesson learned from the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, a speaker from the Netherlands said, “The most important thing in the prolonged COVID-19 crisis is communication based on trust.” A presenter from Malaysia said, “Trust must be secured through transparent and fact-based communication.” Especially, the Open Government Partnership CEO Sanjay Pradhan said, “Building trust through open communication will be important at all stages, including response to and recovery from the pandemic as well as post-COVID-19 innovation.”


“Data” and “Digital” denoted other major topics at this conference. Deputy Director Beth Robins of Strategic Communications at the Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom and Vice President Darrell M. West of the Brookings Institution spoke about the importance of data-based communication under “infodemic” situations where false information rapidly spreads. Also, many other experts predicted that communication through new media will be a linchpin for expanding information sharing and promoting participation in the digital era.


The MCST, OECD and KDIS, the co-hosts of today’s conference, will continue to cooperate in promoting effective public communication in the future. Starting next year, they will operate an educational project to build related capacity.


OECD Deputy Secretary-General Jeffrey Schlagenhauf said, “Korea is a key partner in the public communication sector. We are lucky to have this opportunity to interact and learn from the country which is recognized for its best practices in crisis management.”


MCST Minister Park Yang-woo said, “I find it exceptionally meaningful to open a conference to discuss and share each country’s experience on what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the public communication sector.” He also added, “Even though a dangerous situation persists, we will be able to overcome this crisis if the government and its citizens trust and cooperate with each other based on transparent communication.”



Attachment 1.              Conference poster

Attachment 2.              Summary of presentations by speakers

Addendum 1. Opening remarks and welcome message

Addendum 2.  Related photos & videos (rehearsal materials)


** Photos and videos will be provided separately after the conference (December 9).