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Introduction to Strategic Communication. Gary Saffitz Center for Communication Programs Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Section A:. Introduction. Learning Objectives. Gain a better understanding of the role of communication in tobacco control interventions

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Introduction to strategic communication

Introduction to Strategic Communication

Gary SaffitzCenter for Communication ProgramsJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Section a

Section A:


Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Gain a better understanding of the role of communication in tobacco control interventions

  • Understand the elements of strategic communication and how it differs from a materials production mindset

Life from many angles
Life from Many Angles

  • Is there only one way to see things?

  • Is there only one TRUTH?

  • How can we develop multiple perspectives?

Why invest in strategic communication
Why Invest in Strategic Communication?

  • Communication is happening all the time; our choice really isn’t whether or not we should participate

    • Is it wise to default?

  • U.S. tobacco industry marketing and advertising expenses

    • $15.4 billion every year

    • $42 + million every day

  • U.S. annual health costs related to smoking

    • Private and public health care: $89 billion

    • Productivity losses: $93.6 billion

Source: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Tobacco’s Toll in the U.S.

So does good communication work
So Does Good Communication Work?

  • The tobacco industry thinks so!

  • The whole advertising world thinks so!

  • Politicians, religious leaders, journalists, etc., think so!

  • Public health professionals: “We are not sure?”

So does good communication work1
So Does Good Communication Work?

  • There is overwhelming evidence that good communication is one of the most important tools for public health

  • While there is evidence that poor communication does not work, there are also instances where:

    • Government does not work

    • Medical mistakes cause death

    • Schools are ineffective

    • International agencies do more harm than good

Effect of communication on behavior
Effect of Communication on Behavior

  • Analyzed the impact of 48 U.S. based programs: 1974-1997

Source: Snyder, L.B. & Hamilton, M.A. (2000).

Cost effectiveness of a anti smoking campaign
Cost-Effectiveness of a Anti-Smoking Campaign

  • Baseline

    • Turkish speaking population: 74% of men and 45% of women smoked but knowledge of smoking risks was low

  • Interventions

    • A play, mass media, poster and leaflets

  • Results

    • 6.4% reduction in smoking

    • $194 USD per life year gained

Source: Stevens, W. et al. (2002).

How much would you pay to live for another year
How Much Would You Pay to Live for Another Year?

  • Most of us would pay $194, no questions asked

  • But ask cancer survivors and their families who have suffered much, how much would they pay?

Coca cola
Coca Cola

  • How much would Coca Cola invest to increase sales by 1%?

The tobacco industry
The Tobacco Industry

  • How much would the tobacco industry invest to increase sales by 1%?

Which communication medium is best
Which Communication Medium Is Best?

  • This is like asking which is better:

    • Leadership or management?

    • Prevention or treatment?

    • Interpersonal communication or mass media?

  • Good carpenters do not debate, “which is better, a hammer or a screwdriver?”

  • We need all tools and we should use them according to need

What counts is craftsmanship
What Counts Is “Craftsmanship!”

  • There is no magic medium; there are no silver bullets

  • We need to learn how to use more effectively the wide spectrum of communication technology to achieve the following:

    • Significant reductions in smoking prevalence

    • Smoke free societies

What is strategic communication
What Is “Strategic Communication?”

  • Communication:

    • To make known; to impart

    • To have an interchange, as in ideas

    • To express oneself in such a way that one is readily and clearly understood

    • To be connected, to make common

    • To converse intimately, exchange thoughts and feelings

Strategic communication today
Strategic Communication Today

  • Strategic communication is a process carried out with the active participation of stakeholders and beneficiaries that addresses a long-term vision and affects the causes of, as well as the barriers to, behavior change

Strategic communication tools
Strategic Communication Tools

  • Public policy advocacy and media advocacy

    • Behavior change communication

    • Social marketing

  • Entertainment-education

    • TV/radio spots, dramas, and music

    • Public relations

  • Provider promotion and client-centered counseling

  • Community mobilization

    • Individual and community empowerment

What can communication do
What Can Communication Do?

  • Simply look at the Framework Convention:

    • Advocate for:

      • Signature, tax legislation, advertising/promotion bans, smoke free workplaces, pack warnings, no sales to minors, anti-smuggling legislation, and enforcement of laws

    • Change the image of tobacco and smoking

    • Help smokers quit (cessation programs) and help non-smokers remain smoke free

    • Build self-efficacy and encourage enforcement

    • Change social norms