Assignment: Public Information Campaigns

Assignment: Public Information Campaigns

Assignment: Public Information Campaigns

Another area is the dissemination of health messages through public education campaigns that seek to change the social climate to encourage healthy behaviors, create awareness, change attitudes, and motivate individuals to adopt recommended behaviors. Campaigns traditionally have relied on mass communication (such as public service announcements on billboards, radio, and television) and educational messages in printed materials (such as pamphlets) to deliver health messages. With advances in technology, newer methods of message delivery now exist, such a text messaging. Many campaigns have used social marketing techniques. Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing used to achieve specific behavioral goals for a social good. Table 6.1 provides a list of attributes of effective health communication.

Increasingly, health improvement activities are taking advantage of digital technologies, such as social media sites, health games, mobile applications, and the Internet, that can target audiences, tailor messages, and engage people in interactive, ongoing exchanges about health. As a result, a growing area is health communication to support community-centered prevention. Community- centered prevention shifts attention from the individual to group-level change and emphasizes the empowerment of individuals and communities to effect change on multiple levels.
On a community level, the promotion of regular physical activity, healthy weight, good nutrition, and responsible sexual behavior requires a range of information, education, and advocacy efforts, as does the reduction of tobacco use, substance abuse, injuries, and violence. Public information campaigns are used to promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption (such as the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters campaign), higher rates of preventive screening (such as mammograms and colonoscopies), higher rates of clinical preventive services (such as immunizations), and greater rates of adoption of risk-reducing behaviors (such as the Back to Sleep and Buckle Up America! campaigns). On a one-to-one or among small groups, effective counseling and patient education for behavior change require health care providers and patients to have good communication skills.

Health communication alone, however, cannot change systemic problems related to health, such as poverty, environmental degradation, or lack of access to health care. However, comprehensive health communication programs should include a systematic exploration of all the factors that contribute to health and the strategies that could be used to influence these factors. Well-designed health communication activities help individuals better understand their own and their communities’ needs so that they can take appropriate actions to maximize health.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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