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.



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!”


Below is a list of resources focused on Step 5 of the PSE change approach (promote awareness, communicate and educate):

Download Step 5 Worksheet
Download Relevant Templates
Read more from ACS PSE Guide


National Cancer Institute (2011). Making data talk: A workbook. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.). Quick guide to health literacy. Retrieved from

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.