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Communications to Power Healthy Outcomes

This season, we’re looking closer at you how you can use communications as a tool for systems change and social justice. Our first guest, Mark Miller, along with his colleagues, has just written the book on the power of public health communications, Talking Health: A New Way to Communicate about Public Health. Carrie Fox sat down with Mark at an event hosted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and, with our great thanks to that amazing organization, we offer the interview to you, listeners of the podcast.

Mark Miller serves as Vice President of Communications at the de Beaumont Foundation. His career started in public and civic service before moving to children’s health and now public health. To all these roles, he brings a rich perspective to the challenges that face many front line communicators, including those who are needing to relay critical communications in real time, even as the science is still informing the message. This conversation includes Carrie and Mark in conversation, plus the insightful questions from an audience of invested communicators honing their craft. Our great thanks to Mark Miller and the team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for making this conversation possible. 

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (01:36) – Introducing Mark Miller
  • (03:42) – What drives your passion for public health?
  • (04:56) – What is the value of talking about public health, in light of a global pandemic?
  • (06:20) – Challenging … and embracing … the assumptions of public health?
  • (09:07) – How did the book come about?
  • (10:52) – Trust and Clarity
  • (12:49) – Finding a shared understanding of public health
  • (18:23) – What are the essential elements of communications that everyone should practice?
  • (20:55) – How can practitioners evaluate effectiveness?
  • (22:58) – What jargon traps should we avoid?
  • (25:16) – While writing the book, did you have any epiphanies?
  • (26:49) – What clever solutions have you seen for engagement?
  • (28:42) – What tools do you employ to visualize complex data successfully?
  • (30:41) – What is the fine line between tailoring messages and making it clear?
  • (34:01) – How do I talk to professionals who want to use jargon?
  • (36:01) – To tailor or not to tailor?
  • (38:56) – Inclusion and “Us vs. Them”
  • (41:50) – How long should an infographic be?
  • (44:44) – Learn more… and buy the book!
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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