The concept of health communication refers to the practice of communicating health information, such as in public health campaigns, in health education, and between doctors and patients. Health communication allows professionals to use communication strategies to inform and influence decisions and actions of the public to improve health.
With the development of new information and communication technologies, socio-economic changes have been made in a range of areas, including healthcare.
The purpose of health communication
The main aim of health communication is to influence health issues problems by improving health literacy. Also, health literacy is the basic health information to make the right health decisions.
The knowledge that can be conveyed to the people will help them to improve their health status all the time.
Effective health communication must be appropriate for the audience and the situation. Research in health communication is a very important part to get an effective message to inform the audience to avoid health risks.
The needs of health communication include:
- Information – It should be accessible.
- Education – health education should bring lifestyle changes.
- Motivation – The message should motivate the people.
- Persuasion – To influence the beliefs, understanding and, values of individuals.
- Counseling – It can help people understand better and deal with problems.
Health campaigns promote or raise awareness of health issues through new initiatives. An organization may organize a campaign asking its participants to change their behavior. They aim at changing behavior. It benefits society in a noncommercial manner. It involves a set of communication activities.
An effective health campaign requires knowledge of the problem to be defined. Public health surveillance can help identify the disease burden and the specific behaviors, conditions or policies to be changed.
The role of health campaigns for raising awareness
Raising awareness is a process that seeks to inform and educate people about health-related problems to influence audiences.
The goal of health campaigns is to spread information through mass media, interpersonal channels, and events. It can affect public opinion in favor of an issue. For public opinion to be influenced, various awareness-raising strategies, methods, and tools can be utilized.
Steps to creating effective health marketing campaigns
- Identify the health issue and focus on the campaign.
- Analysis of the health issue.
- Know your primary target audience for the health campaign.
- Know goals and objectives.
- Looking for barriers that the target audience faces.
- Draft the message accordingly.
- Develop a plan
- Develop a media strategy
- Decide who will deliver the message and how.
- Think about the mediums that will be used to deliver the message.
The role of media in health care promotion
- Media plays an effective role to increase audience knowledge and creating awareness of a health problem.
- It influences behaviors and attitudes toward health issues.
- It argues against misconceptions related to health.
- It promotes healthy practices.
- Also, it increases the demand or support for providing health services.
- As a result, health workers have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, which is crucial because face-to-face communication often requires too many resources and reaches fewer people in the large underserved rural area.