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Public Health Communications Resources

How you tell the story about local public health and the role of local health departments will vary depending on who you are talking to -- peers, policymakers, community groups, the media, and the general public.  Better ideas and more effective strategies and tactics emerge from a carefully planned approach. Everything you need to know about delivering the right message, at the right time, in the right format is here.


Toolkit Overview: How to Use This Toolkit

This communications toolkit was created by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to help local health departments (LHDs) effectively communicate about local public health. As a critical component of the local infrastructure, an LHD must be an effective advocate for itself, which requires excellence in communication. This toolkit suggests practical ways to succeed in this important activity. The centerpiece of the toolkit is a set of three different fact sheets describing the role local health departments play in the communities they serve.

The first section of the toolkit provides the three fact sheets and offers suggestions about how to customize them for use in your own communities.

The second section describes the importance of building relationships with the media and includes specific tools and strategies that can be used to reach the media, with emphasis on using one of the fact sheets described above to supplement your efforts.

The third section provides tips for reaching policymakers and effectively delivering your message, with suggestions for incorporating a fact sheet in your efforts.

The final section describes the Operational Definition project. The three fact sheets in this toolkit were derived from the Operational Definition to provide concise and clear ways to define local public health to a variety of audiences. While the fact sheets generally describe what local public health does, the Operational Definition describes what each person can reasonably expect its LHD to provide.

You can also download the entire Toolkit as a Word Document.

Media Outreach Guide
The media are vital to help you get the word out to your target audiences about the role of local public health.  Throughout this guide, we offer tips on engaging the media in your community and developing messages; guidelines for writing news releases and op-eds; and advice on partnering with local radio and television outlets and pitching local stories. More »
Tools You Can Use

PSAs can be an excellent way to spread your message on a small budget. Learn tricks of the trade and avoid reinventing the wheel by taking advantage of professionally written PSA templates. More »

User-Friendly Ad Templates

Download NACCHO's new ad template tools that allow your LHD to quickly and easily develop professional quality communications. The templates are high-quality 'shell' ads that include a variety of general health messages and images and include placeholders to add local information. More »

Public Health and You: PowerPoint Presentation
A PowerPoint presentation with slides and script about public health designed for a general audience. Originally developed by NACCHO for a March 2005 Capitol Hill briefing entitled "Public Health 101," this can be edited for use with specific local audiences. Click on the "more" link to download. More »