Communication plays a central role in effectively promoting healthy eating and physical activity. How do you get your key messages out in a clear, consistent and concise way to those whom you wish to inform, influence and motivate? This question applies equally whether you’re communicating an upcoming event or sharing new information on obesity.
The scope of health communication is exceptionally broad. It includes disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, the business of health care and enhancement of quality of life, and the health of individuals within the community. While information is readily available on the Internet and elsewhere, it can be overwhelming and difficult to assess whether it’s accurate and from legitimate sources. Trusted information sources for a variety of topics can be found in the resource section of this toolkit.
Message consistency and clarity go a long way toward ensuring that your audience clearly understands what you’re intending to convey. Communication experts say that a message needs to be repeated seven times before the information sinks in!
By developing key messages supported by clear identifiable information, your job of communicating and responding to inquiries will become much easier.
Clarify Your Key Messages BEFORE You Communicate Them
What is the subject of your communication?
Are you communicating about an event you want to promote or providing new information on how eating well and being more physically activity can help you to sleep better?
What are your key messages and are they...?
- Short and compelling
- Easy to understand for someone unfamiliar with the topic
- Aimed at your target audience
What facts exist to support your key messages?
Tools such as Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide or Canada’s Physical Activity Guide can provide the specific information, references and messages scientifically proven to support healthy eating and physical activity programs.
- Making Health Communication Programs Work
A guide to communication program planning developed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.