During disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies, people need to know what health risks they face, and what actions they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is the purpose of risk communication(RC). Risk communication is increasingly the hallmark of any effective health emergency response. New, complex and challenging epidemics of the 21st century such as SARS 2003, MERS 2013, Pandemic H1N1 2009, Zika 2016, Ebola 2014, Plague 2017 highlight that message-based risk communications often fail with disastrous results. Recent evidence highlights what we have known but failed to practice: that without trust, our advice is likely to be ignored by affected communities, and lead to avoidable death, disease, disability and damage to the social and economic fabric of communities.