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Improving Your Public Health Communications
November 25, 2015 at 11:04 am #251158
From educating the public about the spread of disease, to promoting the need for vaccinations, health communications are key to enhancing public well-being. Whether you’re in the federal, state, or local level of government, public health is an important topic for many, and improving how those organizations communicate is no exception.
GovDelivery is serving nearly 100 public health communicators in the federal, state, and local levels. And in their recent infographic, 5 Tips & Trends Communications Outlook for Public Health, they surveyed those health communicators to better understand what their current priorities are.
Communication remains a driving force. Public health organizations heavily rely on communications to support their goals, such as improving vaccination rates, preventing the spread of infectious disease, increasing health equity among populations and more. Health organizations should be sure to make their communications and the channels they use align with their department goals and objectives.
One hundred percent of the surveyed health organizations believe communications are a vital component to fulfilling their organizations’ and programs’ goals.
Program success tops initiatives. Health organizations are focusing on improving their program success. Thirty-six percent of participants said they are focusing on defining new programs or improving their program outcomes; 24 percent said they are upgrading outdated and inefficient digital channels, such as their websites and email marketing; and 20 percent want to improve coordination efforts within their organization.
Organizations need to put themselves in the company of health organizations that promote their most essential programs, such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and foster family recruitment, using GovDelivery.
More focus on public awareness. Organizations are shifting their focus on enhancing public awareness and education to improve health outcomes. Those who were surveyed reported that 72 percent are enhancing public awareness and education; 46 percent are prioritizing promotion and transformation of online services; and 39 percent are focusing on improving citizen involvement in current programs and initiatives.
To help improve awareness, organizations can identify and segment core audiences, then tailor communications to provide relevant and valuable experience to reach more people.
Turning to digital channels. Many organizations are utilizing digital channels to improve access to health-related services, sources, and information. Eighty-seven percent of organizations said they’re planning to improve their websites to offer more resources to larger audiences; 57 percent are expanding social media channels to offer a better digital experience; and 48 percent are moving their focus towards email as a direct channel to drive engagement.
Direct channels, like email and text messages, can be utilized to promote online engagement and cut through information clutter.
Lack of resources. Many organizations complained about not having enough resources for their audience; 52 percent cited a lack of resources as being a major obstacle to their strategy to improve health outcomes, and 44 percent are anticipating that creating content that drives citizen engagement will be difficult to achieve.
Health organizations can leverage public and private sector resources, content and the GovDelivery Network to enhance their audience, quality of content, and other outreach.
For more information on improving your public health organization’s communications strategy, view the full infographic here.
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