Corona virus presentation by the Dutch CDC, also some thoughts on the audience for these sorts of presentations

Anne Pier Salverda writes:

I’ve attached a corona virus presentation by the RIVM, the Dutch equivalent of the CDC. This briefing is happening as I send this email.

The presentation is comprehensive and comprehensible, and it hits all the marks in the data visualization and communication department.

Are you aware of any comparable presentations by the CDC?

It’s a 20-page document with lots of pretty pictures. My Dutch isn’t so great anymore but I can still follow most of what’s going on. I guess maybe the CDC is preparing something similar.

It’s funny—we think of this sort of thing as education for the general public, but it’s really just as important to be educating the subset of the public that has control of major resources: I’m thinking here of government officials, media figures, corporate officers, maybe labor leaders too (although I guess they’re less powerful than they used to be). The job of the CDC is in part to inform the resource allocators and decision makers who can then get their act together and do something. From that point of view, perhaps the biggest communication contribution from the CDC is not to have someone stand next to public officials in a press conference, but rather to prepare high-quality and convincing documents that can persuade the powerful.