10 Essential Public Health Services


Communicate effectively to inform and educate people about health, factors that influence it, and how to improve it

Public Health plays an essential role in communicating health information, which takes many forms depending on audience and aims. Audience is who is being communicated to, like people at increased risk of an exposure or health outcome. Aims are what is being communicated and for what purpose, like a media campaign to promote vaccination to high-risk groups. Communication facilitates information sharing, supports health behavior change, enables coordination, and fosters partnership and community engagement.

Equity & Systems

Public Health can center equity and systems in communications by:

  • Fostering a sense of transparency, authority, and trust
  • Emphasizing the connection between health outcomes and vital community conditions
  • Developing accessible, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and tailored communications
  • Using inclusive and destigmatizing language

Public Health in Action

Public health communication has a critical role in growing awareness about health outcomes and risk factors that add up to action and impact. For example, a massive, coordinated, multi-faceted communication campaign for tobacco control has helped to move the needle on tobacco use. Now, fifty years after the U.S. government acknowledged the risks of tobacco, smoking has been banned in many public spaces and use has dropped by more than half.


    Build trust through ongoing, transparent, and effective communication and countering misinformation
    Explore traditional and emerging communication channels for health communications

    Communicate to diverse audiences

    Reflection Questions

    • What role does communication play in improving health, well-being, and equity?
    • How can Public Health advance equity through communication activities?
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