Public Health

New Tools for Effective Public Health Communication

July 30, 2020  • Health, Medicine & Society Program

Communicating about public health has never been more important, and too many people don’t understand what public health is or what public health professionals do. That’s why the de Beaumont Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Public Health Reaching Across Sectors (PHRASES) website and tools. These tools include research-based framing and communication strategies that can help build support, trust, and credibility.

PHRASES was designed to help public health professional communicate with framing and language that can enhance understanding of public health and help build partnerships. The de Beaumont Foundation and the Aspen Institute’s Health, Medicine and Society Program worked with the FrameWorks Institute and Hattaway Communications to conduct rigorous framing and communications research, which included interviews and focus groups with public health practitioners, community members, and leaders in housing, education, health systems, and business.

Their findings informed practical, easy-to-use tools including:

  • Winning words
  • A one-minute message about public health
  • Tips to avoid jargon
  • Answers to tough questions
  • Metaphors and values that build support

While this research was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings and tools are even more relevant today. We hope you will use them to communicate what public health is, what public health professionals do, and why public health matters. Explore the research and tools at