Designing communication strategies to support a public health intervention is a multifaceted and complex skill, which requires careful preparation, logical thinking, and creativity, at the same time being based in theory and evidence. There is no recipe to follow, but rather a set of interrelated issues to consider when developing a coherent and workable plan.
This program focuses on the development and execution of a planned communications strategy for a public health organization that is responsible for a community-based intervention. The program also features a review of basic theory and research that can inform the health communications process. Participants will identify a public health intervention for which they want to develop an accompanying communication plan.
They will also develop a communications strategy and prepare several media executions to advance the communications strategy, which may include a pitch letter with infographic, press release, commentary/editorial, letter to the editor/online blog, scheduled press event, social media platform (i.e., Twitter feeds, Facebook pages), interview, elevator pitch, video, and prototype of a mobile app.
Participants will learn to:
- Think strategically about the use of communications to advance a public health organization’s goals and objectives;
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different communications options;
- Provide a rationale for selecting a communications strategy, which is grounded in the available published literature and reflects both scientific and practical considerations;
- Prepare a strategic plan for a focused communications strategy that is theory-driven, science-based, practicable, and evaluable;
- Utilize a variety of communications tools, including pitch letters, press releases, commentaries and editorials, letters to the editor, blogs, mHealth, interviews, and scheduled press events.
An interest in strategic communication and developing media executions is required. Participants should be prepared to identify an intervention to use as the basis for the communication strategy at the beginning of the program.