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The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

Together, the Community Guide and the Clinical Guide provide evidence-based recommendations across the prevention spectrum.

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Health Communication and Social Marketing

Finger touching the screen of a digital tablet.

Health communication is defined as the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health (NCI 2001) External Web Site Icon.

  • The scope of health communication includes disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and the business of health care as well as enhancement of the quality of life and health of individuals within the community.
  • Health communication considers a variety of channels to deliver its targeted or tailored messages to specific segments among varied audiences, including individuals, communities, health professionals, special groups, and policy makers.

Social marketing is the use of strategic marketing practices “…to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience” (Kotler & Andreasen, 2003).

  • Social marketing is customer centered and focuses on three major decisions: segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Guided by these decisions, the “marketing mix” (or 4 Ps of marketing: place, price, product and promotion) is developed to produce the desired responses in the target markets.
  • Eight established benchmark criteria have been widely accepted as essential components of social marketing efforts: consumer orientation, insight, behavioral objectives, segmentation, exchange, competition, marketing mix, and theory.

Task Force Recommendations and Findings

This table lists an intervention reviewed by the Community Guide, with a summary of the Task Force finding (definitions of findings). Click on an underlined intervention title for a summary of the review.

Health Communication Campaigns That Include Mass Media and Health-Related Product Distribution Recommended
December 2010

Related Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The following interventions, related to health communication campaigns, are separated by strategy. They can also can be found on the associated topic pages.

Mass Media
Cancer Prevention and Control Preventing Skin Cancer: Mass Media Campaigns Insufficient Evidence
June 2011
Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving: Mass Media Campaigns Recommended
June 2002
Obesity Prevention and Control Mass Media Interventions to Reduce Screen Time Insufficient Evidence
January 2008
Promoting Physical Activity Campaigns and Informational Approaches: Mass Media Campaigns Insufficient Evidence
March 2010
Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Mass-Reach Health Communication Interventions Recommended
April 2013
Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Mass Media—Cessation Series Insufficient Evidence
May 2000
Small Media
Cancer Prevention and Control Client-Oriented Screening Interventions: Small Media Recommended
December 2005
Interpersonal Communication (e.g., group education, one-on-one counseling)
Cancer Prevention and Control Client-Oriented Screening Interventions: One-on-One Education Recommended
March 2010
Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention Use of Child Safety Seats: Distribution and Education Programs Recommended
June 1998
Obesity Prevention and Control Provider-Oriented Interventions: Provider Education Insufficient Evidence
October 2007
Promoting Physical Activity Campaigns and Informational Approaches: Classroom-Based Health Education Focused on Providing Information Insufficient Evidence
October 2000
Vaccinations to Prevent Diseases Universally Recommended Vaccinations: Provider Education When Used Alone Insufficient Evidence
March 2010
Violence Prevention Focused on Children and Youth School-Based Programs to Reduce Violence Recommended
June 2005
Comprehensive, Community-wide Approach
Cancer Prevention and Control Preventing Skin Cancer: Community-wide Multicomponent Interventions Insufficient Evidence
April 2012
Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention Use of Child Safety Seats: Community-Wide Information and Enhanced Enforcement Campaigns Recommended
June 1998
Prevention of Birth Defects Community-Wide Campaigns to Promote the Use of Folic Acid Supplements Recommended
June 2004
Promoting Physical Activity Campaigns and Informational Approaches: Community-Wide Campaigns Recommended
February 2001
Vaccinations to Prevent Diseases Universally Recommended Vaccinations: Community-Based Interventions Implemented in Combination Recommended
June 2010

Presentations and Promotional Materials

Promotional Materials

Community Guide News: Effectiveness of Health Communication Campaigns That Include Mass Media and Health-Related Product Distribution
Developed by The Community Guide

What Works – Fact Sheets

What Works: Health Communication and Social Marketing – bi-fold brochure Adobe PDF File [PDF - Size 651 kB]

What Works: Health Communication and Social Marketing - Insert Adobe PDF File [PDF - Size 296 kB]

Referenced Documents

Kotler P, Andreasen A. Strategic marketing for nonprofit organizations (6th edition). New York: Prentice-Hall; 2003.




Disclaimer

The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Health communication and social marketing. www.thecommunityguide.org/healthcommunication/index.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.