How Insurance Works

What It Means to be a Better Messenger for Health


It’s clear that a lot of the people in this
country are exhausted with the polarization and how the national leaders on both sides
are only concerned in energizing their buddies. This is not what we are in our communities – Liberals and Conservatives work together all the time. “We listen to a rhetoric that says we’re divided,
but in reality – on the ground – we’re not.” At first the work we were doing was about
how to craft messages better, and then to becoming better messengers ourselves. Just because somebody doesn’t agree with me, they’re not crazy. They are rational, they have reasons. And there’s still a way to broker something
together to help our local communities who are so desperately in need from opioids, and
obesity, and any of the other issues that are out there. We have a real responsibility here. We have a responsibility to not play our
political games. As we do so often, we’re in there to make
our spill and we go in with an agenda. We want to make sure we cover every single
point. And sometimes, you know, one or two of those
issues is what will resonate. So by listening to the people that we are
talking with, and allowing it to be a dialogue, we can – I think – more quickly move forward. Because I believe that they understand our
intent is sincere and genuine and we can have some appreciation for theirs. One of the issues that a lot of our members
have brought to us in the past was concerns about how do you deliver a message about public
health to not only people who might not be public health professionals – family, friends
– but also policymakers? How do you make sure that you’re delivering
the right amount of information to them, explaining it to them in words that they’re going to
understand that represent their morals, their concerns? Because one of the things that we do know
is that a “one-size fits all” message just doesn’t work anymore. We don’t politics and, you know, Facebook
posts and other things among friends and family to stop a conversation that needs to be had. And so I think, you know really pulling all
parties together, making sure that folks understand that we’re really not that different and we
can find a way forward – a lot of it is just about about how we talk to
each other about these issues. Crafting Richer Messages and being more credible
messengers gets its importance from the fact that we in public health have good ideas. There are a lot of ways that we can make life
easier for people, make it healthier, create a greater opportunity for well-being, take
away some of the barriers in the path towards health. Having the right idea is the first step, but convincing a lot of other people that it is the right idea is completely different. And you can’t just assume that the evidence
that you’re basing your idea on will carry the day. We have to find a way to speak more to the
heart, and more to the moral values of people if we want them to get excited the way we
are with the idea. The core insight of this initiative is that
we have a lot more to work with than we frequently know we do. So many public health people feel a deep sense
of frustration about not being able to communicate with the public about the public
and we get stuck. And I love that we’re actually sort of releasing
the natural passion – the natural compassion – of this field of public health for everybody
in the public. And I think we’re sort of finding our voice
and we’re finding that it resonates in ways that we’ve sort of forgotten what a jewel
we have. I hope the work of Crafting Richer Messages
and being Better Messengers explodes. I hope it goes everywhere. I hope it is an accessible movement that’s
about being authentic, empathetic people. That’s about pursuing the public health policies
and partnerships that we want to see happen, but also about the way we do it. And I think that’s something that everyone
is talking about and wants to talk about even if they don’t use the phrase “Crafting Richer
Messages.” I think it’s much bigger than what we do and
I want to see it kind of trickle down and around and everywhere into public health. This initiative is so much fun. And it’s really fun to work with a group that
is so committed to the heart of public health. And every time I come to one of these presentations
and work with the groups that we’re speaking to and hear their feedback, I’m just reminded
of why I wanted to be in public health.


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