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Why and How to Communicate Effectively


Local public health communications encompasses a broad array of LHD-led activities that promote healthy behavior, build support for organized local public health efforts, and increase LHDs’ impact and influence for the benefit of society.

Promoting healthy behavior
  • Help to develop and disseminate timely and evidence-based or consensus recommendations on important disease and injury prevention and control issues within a county, municipality, or other locality
  • Effectively and proactively inform members of target groups (such as at-risk populations, racial or ethnic minorities, or affected neighborhoods) how best to protect their own and their community’s health from specified hazards
  • Responsibly and creatively increase local residents’ adherence to public health recommendations

Building support for organized local health efforts
  • Advance the cause of local health generally, promoting specific local health projects, and contributing to the success of local government responses to public health emergencies
  • Strengthen relationships with key health constituents within the area (such as hospitals, physicians, nurses, educators, news media, business, labor, and consumers), sometimes through established or informal coalitions and partnerships
  • Encourage and assist local health personnel in imparting appropriate messages to critical audiences

Increasing LHDs' impact and influence for the benefit of society
  • Help to develop and distribute clear and accurate information about the work and role of the department
  • Widely demonstrate the value and cost-effectiveness of local health programs
  • Defend LHDs and their projects from incorrect perceptions
Tip: Keep it Constant

Communicate regularly, reporting progress to the public, partners, and policy-makers even in the absence of crisis or changes in direction. Regular contact lays the foundation for calling on those relationships for support and assistance at key moments.


Fact Sheets

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. These three fact sheets describe the role local health departments’ play in the communities they serve and offer suggestions about how to customize them for use in your own communities. More »


PowerPoint Presentation: Public Health 101

This PowerPoint presentation with slides and script about public health is designed for a general audience. Originally developed by NACCHO in 2005, for a briefing Capitol Hill, "Public Health 101," can be adapted for use with local audiences. More »

Public Service Announcements
Tips and Templates for PSAs

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

Advertising Templates
User-Friendly Ad Templates

NACCHO ad template tools allow LHDs to quickly and easily develop professional quality advertising communications. These high-quality templates display a variety of general health messages and images and include an area for LHDs to add local information. More »

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Conference: November 3-5, 2014