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Mass communication and social marketing. Peter D. Rumm, MD, MPH. Public Health Defined.

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Mass communication and social marketing

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Mass communication and social marketing

Mass communication and social marketing

Peter D. Rumm, MD, MPH

Public health defined

Public Health Defined

  • Public health carries out its mission through organized, interdisciplinary efforts that address the physical, mental and environmental health concerns of communities and populations at risk for disease and injury. Its mission is achieved through the application of health promotion and disease prevention technologies and interventions designed to improve and enhance quality of life. 

  • Health promotion and disease prevention technologies encompass a broad array of functions and expertise, including the three core public health functions


Keep in mind the core functions public health

Keep in Mind the Core Functions Public Health

  • Assessment

  • Assurance

  • Policy development

Never forget the essential public health services

Never Forget the Essential Public Health Services

  • Monitor healthstatus to identify community health problems

  • Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community

  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety

  • Inform, educate and empower people about health issues

  • Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems

  • (a) Link people to needed personal health services and(b) Assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable

  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services

  • Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce

  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts

  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

  • Public Health Foundation TaskForce 2000.

Don t forget health promotion science what an mph brings to the table

Don’t Forget Health Promotion Science – what an MPH brings to the table!

  • Models: APEX, PATCH, Proceed-Proceed, LOGIC etc.

  • Theories:

    • Theory of reasoned action

    • Diffusion of innovations

    • Health Belief – Stages of Change

    • Social Capital

    • & many more!



  • "We take communication for granted because we do it so frequently, but it's actually a complex process." Joseph Sommerville, PhD

  • "You can communicate best when you first listen." Catherine Pulsifer

  • "Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers." Les Brown

  • "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill

Principles of mass communication kreuter et al

Principles of Mass Communication Kreuter et. al.

  • Use objectives to stay focused

  • Make informed decisions

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel

  • There is “no such thing as a free lunch”

  • To maximize effectiveness strategically combine multiple tactics to influence complex problems

  • Be creative!

Signposts to be effective adapted from kreuter et al

Signposts to be Effective – Adapted from Kreuter et. al.

  • I. Determine what health communication can do for you

  • II. Determine whom are you trying to communicate

  • III. What does it cost your audience to hear your message?

  • III. What do you want to say?

  • IV. How will the message get to your audience?

  • Source for the last two slides: Kreuter, Lezin et. al. Community Health Promotion ideas that Work, 2nd ed. Jones and Bartlett, 2003.

Cdc 4 principles social marketing

CDC 4 Principles Social Marketing

  • Product: what the consumer is asked to "buy" (often a behavior),

  • Price: the actual cost or something the consumer must give up/ do in order to obtain the product,

  • Place: how and where the product reaches the consumer, and

  • Promotion: how information about the product is disseminated.

Social marketing defined

Social Marketing Defined

  • One frequently quoted definition of social marketing is the "application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence the voluntary behavior of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of their society" (Andreasen, 1995)

Definitions of mass communications

Definitions of Mass Communications

  • Includes journalism, programmes in radio and television broadcasting, public relations, communications arts, library science, programmes for technicians in museums and similar repositories, documentation techniques

  • The transmission of messages which may be processed by gate keepers prior to being sent to large audiences via a channel of broad diffusion

  • (Perhaps best) Communication from one person or group of persons through a transmitting device (a medium) to a large audience or market.

Important public health terms

Important Public Health Terms

  • Risk Communication from the standpoint of ASTDR:

  • Overview of Issues and Guiding Principlesfor Health Risk Communication = putting risk into perpective and disseminating this message to different audiences in a timely manner

Caution re risk communication

Caution re Risk Communication

  • Merely disseminating information without regard for communicating the complexities and uncertainties of risk does not necessarily ensure effective risk communication. Well-managed efforts will help ensure that your messages are constructively formulated, transmitted, and received and that they result in meaningful actions. Consider how the process works and some general principles for improving effectiveness.

Myths re risk communication

Myths re risk communication!

  • Belief in some common myths often interferes with development of an effective risk communication program. Consider the myths and actions you can take.

  • Myth: We don't have enough time and resources to have a risk communication program.Action: Train all your staff to communicate more effectively. Plan projects to include time to involve the public..

  • Myth: Telling the public about a risk is more likely to unduly alarm people than keeping quiet.Action: Decrease potential for alarm by giving people a chance to express their concerns.

  • Myth: Communication is less important than education. If people knew the true risks, they would accept them.Action: Pay as much attention to your process for dealing with people as you do to explaining the data.

  • Source: ASTDR website



  • Myth: We shouldn't go to the public until we have solutions to environmental health problems. Action: Release and discuss information about risk management options and involve communities in strategies in which they have a stake.

  • Myth: These issues are too difficult for the public to understand.Action: Separate public disagreement with your policies from misunderstanding of the highly technical issues.

  • Myth: Technical decisions should be left in the hands of technical people.Action: Provide the public with information. Listen to community concerns. Involve staff with diverse backgrounds in developing policy.

The health alert network

The Health Alert Network

  • Sophisticated information portal being built “on the backs” of the terrorism funding by the CDC/HRSA.

What is going on with the han

What is Going on with the HAN?

  • Currently, HAN is a strong national program, providing vital health information and the infrastructure to support the dissemination of that information at the State and Local levels, and beyond. A vast majority of the State-based HAN programs have over 90% of their population covered under the umbrella of HAN. The HAN Messaging System currently directly and indirectly transmits Health Alerts, Advisories, and Updates to over one million recipients. The current system is being phased into the overall PHIN messaging component.



  • Closely related:

  • The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) is an initiative that promotes the use of data and information system standards to advance the development of efficient, integrated, and interoperable surveillance systems at federal, state and local levels.  It is a major component of the Public Health Information Network (PHIN).

Goal of nedss and han


  • To detect outbreaks rapidly and to monitor the health of the nation

  • Facilitate the electronic transfer of appropriate information from clinical information systems in the health care system to public health departments

  • Reduce provider burden in the provision of information

  • Enhance both the timeliness and quality of information provided

  • Surveillance Systems collect and monitor data for disease trends and/or outbreaks so that public health personnel can protect the nation's health.

  • The vision of NEDSS (and the HAN) is to have integrated surveillance systems that can transfer appropriate public health, laboratory, and clinical data efficiently and securely over the Internet. NEDSS will revolutionize public health by gathering and analyzing information quicklyand accurately.

Communication lessons

Communication Lessons

  • KISS

  • Say you don’t know but will find out

  • Do your research and evaluations

  • Look your audience in the eye

  • Be enthusiastic

  • Don’t’ over-state your knowledge!

  • Don’t underestimate your impact!

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