The Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, just published a piece “Crafting Richer Public Health Messages for A Turbulent Political Environment” by Gene Matthews, Scott Burris, Sue Lynn Ledford, Gary Gunderson and Edward Baker. The authors suggest that while it’s easy for people in the health arena to become consumed in the current disruptions in the field, it’s also a time when “public health at all levels is simultaneously wanting to engage more deeply and meaningfully with our communities of all ethnicity and socioeconomic status who are burdened by low-ranking determinants of health.”
To marshal support for legal solutions, they call for greater attention paid to richer communications through crafting messages, especially telling stories. Using Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundation Theory, the authors suggest that while public health often frames its messages in terms of somewhat limited liberal values, that reframing in a way that also the additional values of conservatives — loyalty, authority and sanctity — will help reach find more resonance.
To reach a broader audience, including those communities in pain, we have advocated that messages be crafted using the full range of values that emphasize preservation of the institutions and traditions that sustain a moral community.