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
Use the GPS Navigation metaphor to explain how public health’s data expertise can help other sectors move toward innovative solutions
The Goal & The Challenge
When the goal is… to build understanding among other sectors about how they might utilize the extensive data expertise of public health professionals to drive needed improvements on the ground…
The challenge is… they’re starting from a very narrow perception of what this expertise entails. Professionals in other sectors generally think of public health data as sets of descriptive statistics that can help diagnose problems. They have little understanding of the ways data can be analyzed and creatively engaged with to advance solutions, and even less understanding of how they can draw on the data training and analytical skills of public health experts to get where they need to go.
When You Say…Public health professionals have a breadth as well as depth of proficiency with data, which makes us valuable collaborative partners for other sectors. Our knowledge and experience with collecting, analyzing, sharing, and using data enables us to meet a host of sector needs.
They Think…I know that public health experts can do things like track morbidity rates and report on disease outbreaks and other health-related problems, but my work has nothing to do with that. It’s not clear how public health data or expertise could be useful to me.
Framing can help
Framing can help explain how public health’s data expertise works, including that it can function as a flexible and adaptable tool for other sectors to engage with interactively. Effective communications illustrate that data, in the skilled hands of public health experts and with the essential input of sector professionals, can spark cutting-edge ideas, revolutionize on-the-ground practices, and implement state-of-the-art improvements.
An effective reframe would look something like this:
Much like a GPS system, public health professionals draw on data to help other sectors plan the best way forward, navigating gridlock when needed and continually responding to new input. We help guide communities to where they want to be by distilling the information that helps them visualize the path ahead, and innovate new visions for what destinations are possible.
Remember, the reframe isn’t a ready-made talking point. It’s a sample iteration that models the framing recommendation in action.