CDC’s Communication Principles

  • CDC embraces intellectual honesty and transparency in its release of information to fully empower public decision making.
  • CDC accepts scientific debate and respects the peer-review process.
  • CDC’s communication is empathetic, respectful, non-judgmental, and never arrogant toward others.
  • CDC considers diverse cultural and societal values and beliefs when developing messages.
  • CDC does not use trickery or deceptive communication techniques to advance public health recommendations or its reputation.
  • CDC is accountable for its actions, good or bad, and recommendations, popular or not.
  • CDC’s good reputation is not sacrificed for the sake of any past, current, or future employee or partner.
  • CDC respects the right of its detractors to voice their opposition and does not impute the source’s motives but does vigorously correct errors and challenge misjudgments.
  • CDC embraces the idea that plain language works best to eliminate ambiguity in its research results and health recommendations for the public.
  • CDC admits its mistakes, past and present, and takes responsibility for correcting them.
  • CDC does not withhold information only to avoid embarrassment.
  • CDC communication is science-based, timely, accurate, respectful, credible, and consistent (STARCC).

For more information, please call Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Division of Public Affairs​, 404 639-3286

Page last reviewed: November 1, 2017