For public health professionals and advocates who want to communicate more effectively with the housing, education, health systems, and business sectors about the value of collaboration
Foreground public health’s data expertise
The Goal & The Challenge
When the goal is…to highlight the particular knowledge, skills, or other assets that public health professionals bring to cross-sector collaborations…
The challenge is…that other sectors have a limited understanding of what the field of public health entails, much less what public health professionals do. All sectors value and rely on data, but none has a very robust appreciation of how public health professionals could help them meet their data needs. The potential for this can be extremely enticing to other sectors, but without sufficient emphasis and foregrounding within communications, it gets easily lost in the mix.
When You Say…Public health professionals have a wealth of knowledge and skills that can be useful to other sectors. We can function as chief health strategists and problem-solvers, valuable influencers, community connectors, expert analysts, and policy advocates.
They Think… Some of that sounds okay, but isn’t necessarily pertinent to the immediate objectives or long-term goals of my sector. I have been doing this job for many years, so I know from experience how best to improve our practices. We don’t need to bring in outside help.
Framing can help
Framing can help establish an association in other sectors’ minds between public health and not just datasets but data analysis and proficiency. Messages that vividly exhibit public health professionals’ data expertise, particularly by describing their ability to use data as a problem-solving tool, can help other sectors appreciate the utility and applicability of the field.
An effective reframe would look something like this:
Public health professionals use data to help other sectors evaluate program impact, determine appropriate interventions, monitor progress, identify barriers to care, target populations for services, and influence public policy. We also work to optimize data sharing processes, which ensures that knowledge and insights can be easily exchanged across multiple sectors. In these ways, public health’s data expertise is highly innovative and infinitely adaptable, and can contribute to partnerships with other sectors that address the issues facing our community.
Remember, the reframe isn’t a ready-made talking point. It’s a sample iteration that models the framing recommendation in action.