Healthcare News

The Importance of Healthcare Communications for World Health Day & Beyond

By Noemi Carrasco, Healthcare Account Executive
By Noemi Carrasco, Healthcare Account Executive

This World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is also celebrating75 years since the organisation was formed. To celebrate this milestone, Madano is taking a look at why WHO's healthcare campaigns are so effective at not only raising awareness, but motivating action to tackle health challenges of today and tomorrow.

Communication is an essential component of any effort to achieve positive health outcomes. Effective healthcare communication campaigns raise awareness and understanding about a health issue and mobilize the target audience towards a behavioural change or action. An effective healthcare campaign must also adapt and consider the context of the target audience and ensure key messages are reflected in a full range of content. With engaging and successful health communication campaigns, we can accelerate our efforts towards universal health coverage and improve health globally.

To ensure the success of any healthcare campaign, we always follow these five core principles: 

Be purpose-led

Determine the health issue and find the key focus or goal of the campaign and be clear about what you want the campaign to do. What healthy behaviour do we want to promote? Should it educate the public about an issue? Change a specific behaviour? The key objective of the campaign will have a direct impact on how you will do it, but the aim of your awareness campaign will always be to drive positive patient outcomes.

A good example is International Day of Action for Cervical Cancer Elimination (17 November 2020), for which The WHO proposed a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, and provided a vision of a world where this is not a public health problem anymore, but just a “disease of the past”. The campaign is ongoing, but the path to success is clear: to ensure meaningful interaction and engagement with the affected populations. Being able to communicate with the target audience, and ensuring the core message and purpose are received, is key for the effective outcome of any campaign. 

Make it personal

To create an effective campaign that really touches your target audience, you need an in-depth understanding of the people you are addressing, and the behaviour shift you are trying to affect. This will ensure you can reach them with personalized messages that resonate with their needs.

Demonstrate empathy

Place your audience at the heart of the story and imagine yourself in your audience’s shoes. Understand their lived experience, what the disease means to them and the implications it has on their day-to-day activities.

A good example of this is World Blood Donor Day (14 June, 2022). The WHO shared stories with various media outlets about people whose lives have been saved thanks to blood donation, motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, but also encouraging people in good health who have never given blood to start doing so. 

Use the right tone of voice

The language and the words used to spread the message is equally as important as the message itself. You should always take into consideration who you are trying to reach with your campaign and avoid language that might not resonate with your target audience.

Depending on who you are targeting, you will have to adapt your messaging to ensure you are speaking to them in their own tone of voice.

Meaningful creativity

It is important to be creative but stay relevant and on the topic at the same time. We want to connect with the audience and stand out, without going too far and risk alienating some people. The goal is to ensure that the campaign is memorable while still speaking directly to the needs of the target audience.

No matter how important the message, it is crucial to reach the individuals and communities who really need it. By working together and collaborating to create awareness and stimulate discussion with effective communication campaigns, we can have a direct, or indirect impact on the health and well-being of patients and their family members or colleagues.

For guidance and advice on creating a disease awareness campaign tailored to your specific challenges, please contact Noemí Carrasco ([email protected])