Crafting Richer Messages and Being More Credible Messengers

by Ed Baker, MSc, MD, MPH

Being Better MessengersDrawing upon the popular column published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Management Moments with Public Health Leaders is a new series appearing bimonthly on JPHMP Direct and will consist of video interviews with authors appearing in the column.

Public health makes life easier for people. That, we know. But convincing populations of people with a broad range of personal values, political opinions, or other deeply held beliefs of that fact has become increasingly more difficult. In an era where practically every broadcast is skeptically regarded as fake news, a one-size-fits-all message, too often, simply falls on deaf ears.

That’s the topic of one of our recent Management Moments’ articles called “Becoming Better Messengers: The Public Health Advantage.” Scott Burris, Gene Matthews, Gary Gunderson, and I build upon prior columns in the Management Moments series to turn the focus from the tools we can use to craft persuasive messages to the virtues that can make us worthy of being heeded.

We take a closer look at Moral Foundation Theory and really examine what public health knows (science) and does (provides facts) and how we can leverage that advantage by sharing evidence-based information in a manner that fosters open dialogue.

The Network for Public Health Law and the de Beaumont Foundation have created this video on what it means to be a better messenger for health. Have thoughts on how we can become better messengers? Leave us a comment in the comment section below.

Read the latest from Management Moments in the most recent issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice:

Being Better Messengers

Ed Baker, MSc, MD, MPH

Dr. Edward L. Baker, a former Assistant Surgeon General in the US Public Health Service and former Director of CDC’s Public Health Practice Program Office, currently serves as Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Management at UNC. He teaches a course on the theory and practice of leadership in the School of Public Health’s DrPH program and an online course on Designing and Managing Public Health Information Systems through the Public Health Institute in Atlanta. [Full bio.]