Health communication campaigns are an essential tool for public health professionals to promote disease prevention and health promotion. They seek to influence the nature and quality of information within a network through opinion leaders or other influential people. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides practical tools to promote behaviors that improve health or prevent diseases. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and other organizations provide strategies, advice, and other important information about various health issues. Public health professionals who launch health communication campaigns can achieve success if they follow certain strategies.
Evidence-based practices, programs, and resources should be used, as well as involving opinion leaders or other influential people. Campaigns should be tailored to specific populations, use models from other campaigns, create personalized tools, provide advice and support, counter myths about drugs and alcohol, evaluate their own drinking habits, provide quizzes, apps, and other resources, offer mobile text messaging services, connect teens with scientists and other experts, provide advice on how to deal with cravings, use theories and models of health communication, create campaigns that are accessible to all, follow HHS Division of Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) guidelines, outline fundamental ways in which communication about health can inform people, pursue a meaningful career in health communication through Tulane University's online Master of Public Health program, and more. By following these strategies and taking certain advice into account, public health professionals can design successful campaigns that will have a positive impact on their communities. Campaigns can be used to promote physical activity as a method of self-management for arthritis; raise awareness of heart disease and its risk factors among women; educate the public about the signs of stroke; control blood pressure in middle age; lead a healthy lifestyle; achieve and maintain a healthy weight; promote the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans; empower parents, caregivers and communities to help children begin to maintain a healthy weight to prevent obesity; educate people about alcohol use; provide personalized tools and strategies for smokers who want to quit smoking; provide resources for the Spanish-speaking community who want to quit smoking; encourage people to know their family health history; educate preteens and their parents about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss; improve the health of women and children; provide resources to help teens stop vaping; offer advice and support specific to the needs of women including pregnant women; encourage the use of clinical prevention services through myHealthFinder; and more. Health communication campaigns are an important tool for public health professionals to promote disease prevention and health promotion. By following certain strategies and taking certain advice into account, public health professionals can design successful campaigns that will have a positive impact on their communities.