Now that you have established your community partnerships, determined needs and prioritized potential solutions, identified data to inform your initiative and determined a feasible strategy, you are ready to communicate the need for your PSE change effort. Communicate to all stakeholders the need for PSE change prior to implementation to help lessen potential resistance.
Consider how to frame the need for PSE change and develop a communication plan to support it. Be sure to tailor your message to your intended audience(s) and include various forms of media to educate and build support among stakeholders and the public, when appropriate.
USING DATA TO PROMOTE YOUR EFFORTS
Data can play an important role in communicating about your efforts to policymakers and promoting your work to the public. The following hints can be helpful as you consider how to best use data to educate stakeholders about your PSE change effort.
- Use simple language and avoid terms not often used outside of the scientific community (National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2011)
- Organize information so the most important points are first (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), n.d.)
- Break complex information into smaller chunks (HHS, n.d.)
- Explain how data or information impacts your audience and why it is relevant (NCI, 2011)
- Use integers when talking about data as they are more convincing and easier for individuals to recall than decimals (Witteman, Zickmund-Fisher et al., 2011)
- Use non-numeric displays of data to make them easier to remember and understand (icon arrays are an excellent tool for simplifying data)
- Use social math to help your audience visualize data (For example: “A 20-ounce soda has 16 teaspoons of sugar. The average American consumes 45 gallons of sugary drinks a year. That’s 29 pounds of sugar – about as much as a 5-year-old child weighs!”
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Below is a list of resources focused on Step 5 of the PSE change approach (promote awareness, communicate and educate):
- American Cancer Society’s (ACS) PSE Change: Effectively Engaging Your Coalition when Working with the Media provides coalitions with information and tools they can use to organize their media efforts and maximize their success.
- Building Community Resistance Policy and Advocacy Guide – This guide can help organizations become effective policy advocates and educators for building community resistance.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice provides tools and templates to develop health communication and social marketing campaigns and programs focusing on audience, campaigns, channels, health literacy, research, evaluation and risk communication.
- CDC’s Media Campaign Resource Center provides free or low-cost anti-tobacco ads.
- CDC’s Community Health Media Center provides free and low-cost creative advertising and support materials designed to create awareness around obesity and other chronic conditions and to promote healthy living.
- The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center’s Communication Training for Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) Professionals 101: Media Planning and Media Relations walks participants through the process of media planning, creating media-ready materials and building relationships with journalists. This course includes templates for a communication/media plan, letter to the editor and press release.
- The GW Cancer Center’s Communication Training for CCC Professionals 102: Making Communication Campaigns Evidence-Based provides in-depth training about the process of planning, implementing and evaluating a communication campaign. This course includes templates for a campaign implementation plan, community assessment, campaign roadmap (logic model) and key messages.
- Make it Your Own (MIYO) provides customizable health communication materials that are evidence-based, culturally fitting and ready to distribute.
National Cancer Institute (2011). Making data talk: A workbook. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/publications/health-communication/making-data-talk.pdf
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.). Quick guide to health literacy. Retrieved from http://health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/factsbasic.htm
Witteman, H.O., Zikmund-Fisher, B.J., Waters, E.A., Gavaruzzi, T., Fagerlin, A. (2011). Risk estimates from an online risk calculator are more believable and recalled better when expressed as integers. Journal of Medical Internet Research 13(3), e54. http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1656