In this fully revised and updated Fourth Edition, Rice and Atkin provide readers with a comprehensive and contemporary look into the field of public communication campaigns. The volume begins with a theoretical and historical overview of public communication campaigns, which generally aim to promote non-commercial benefits to individuals or society. The contributors then explore methods and models of designing, implementing, and evaluating campaigns in depth. Topics examined include a range of recent, intriguing, and controversial campaigns such as AIDS prevention, skin cancer, organ donation, and ocean sustainability. The contributors also explore a variety of recent campaign dimensions including community-oriented campaigns, entertainment-education campaigns, digital games, mobile technology, and social media. Public Communication Campaigns, Fourth Edition will be a valuable resource for both students and researchers in the fields of communication, journalism, public relations, mass media, advertising, and public health programs.
Chapter 23: Putting Policy into Health Communication: The Role of Media Advocacy
Putting Policy into Health Communication: The Role of Media Advocacy
Public communication campaigns are very seductive. They present knowledge as ultimate power: Armed with the right information, people can control their health destinies. However, by focusing almost exclusively on personal choice, the strategy systematically ignores the wide range of social forces that influence health. Thus, flaws are defined and remedied at the individual level, leaving important social, economic, and other environmental contributory factors unchanged.
In this chapter, we argue that this strategy is fundamentally inconsistent with the mission and goals of public health. Health communication campaigns evolve out of a desire to ensure that people have the right information about their health. Although ...