In earlier posts in December and February, I have been exploring the confusion about, and differences among, social marketing, social media and communication. I looked at why the confusion exists, why change agents default to communication and why communication alone may not be result in the desired behavior change. Now, if you do choose to use a communication approach...
Where Can You Turn to Get the Most out of Communication Strategies?
We don’t have to struggle in the darkness! Here is a brief review of when communication can be effective, from two good resources.
1. Communication alone is effective when:
Benefits are obvious; the audience already has a motivation to do the behavior; there is an opportunity in the environment to do the behavior; the audience has the ability to do the behavior—“Carrots, Sticks and Promises,” Michael Rothschild
2. Communication-only can:
- Increase the intended audience’s knowledge and awareness of a health issue, problem, or solution;
- Influence perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes that may change social norms;
- Prompt action;
- Demonstrate or illustrate healthy skills;
- Show the benefit of behavior change;
- Advocate a position on a health issue or policy;
- Increase demand or support for health services;
— “The Pink Book – Making Health Communication Programs Work,” National Cancer Institute
When you get to the point of creating messages and communication programs…
1. A hugely helpful resource is “Simply Put,”from CDC. It guides you through creating simple, easier to understand messages from more technical health information. You can Google it.
2. NCI’s Pink Book, mentioned above, takes you through a step-by-step process for creating best practice communication programs.
3. The CDC’s “CDCynergy Communication Version”is an interactive desktop tool that guides you through creating a best practice health communication program. It includes a variety of links, tools, resources, media examples, references and on-line tools to assist you. There are disease-specific and audience-specific versions.
BUT WAIT! When does communication alone not work, and what do you do then? STAY TUNED!