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The tools contained here can help you build bridges to other sectors by articulating shared goals, the problems that stand in the way of reaching them, and the solutions that come from partnering with public health professionals. A growing challenge in public health communications is motivating sector-specific audiences to see the value of collaboration. To successfully break down silos, leaders in other sectors need to understand what public health professionals do and realize the benefits of partnering with them.
This toolkit will empower you to confidently tell strategic stories about public health. These stories can raise awareness of public health initiatives among key audiences and inspire those audiences to take action to help achieve your goals. It includes a number of tools to help you become a more confident storyteller, as well as insights from psychology and cognitive science that explain why storytelling is the most effective way to help non-experts understand and embrace a complex topic.
Public Health Communications Toolkit
Use the research-based language, guidance, and best practices included in this toolkit to start conversations with non-experts and frame public health in a way that is relevant to their lives. These tools and messages are not intended to serve as a comprehensive definition of public health, or to replace other materials the field has developed (e.g., the core functions of public health and the 10 essential public health services). Rather, they aim to address the challenges experts face in motivating audiences to understand and support public health efforts.
Outreach emails are often an important early communication between public health professionals and other sectors. This tool has “before” and “after” versions of a sample introductory communication to initiate a cross-sector partnership.
Answers to Tough Questions
PHRASES crowd-sourced tough questions about public health that practitioners are often confronted with, such as “What is public health?” and “How is public health different from health care?” This tool shows a standard or typical answer to the question, and a suggested reframed answer.
When You Say...They Think Charts
When communicating with sectors outside of public health, often what we say can come across in a very different way than we might anticipate. This tool shows commonly used phrases from public health, explains what the other sector might be thinking in reaction, and provides framing tips and guidance for reframing our communications.
PHRASES 10 Framing Recommendations
Recommendations 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. Make sure to view all 10!
PHRASES Quick Start Guide
There are many different framing strategies that can be used to effectively communicate about the value of public health and cross-sector collaboration. Use this guide to get a quick overview of the PHRASES research and tools.
Strategic Framing Brief
Framing strategies that are proven to shift thinking and attitudes about public health in productive ways. These recommendations can be used to build support for meaningful partnerships with other sectors.
Map the Gaps Report
This report analyzes the assumptions and gaps in understanding that public health professionals face when engaging other sectors, detailing how leaders in other sectors think about health, public health, and the value of collaboration.