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Unit of study_

PUBH5430: Public Health Advocacy

Have you ever wondered how to respond to people who hold antivaccination views, or to misinformation spreading online, or to create better institutional engagement with environmental policies? All of these situations are determined by how good our communication is. This unit aims to will familiarise students with the strategies of public health advocacy, with a focus on news reporting, online media, and political engagement. This unit covers the role of advocacy in advancing public health policy; framing public health issues; newsgathering, reporting and editing; strategies for media advocacy; political lobbying; and message dissemination; and there will be special emphasis on learning how online environments and social media tools are contributing to public health advocacy debates and campaigns. Students will learn the latest research revealing which factors most influence how people perceive and make judgments about health risks, at individual and institutional levels, and how to tailor communication to most effectively achieve your goals. Topics covered include responding to health risk events; antivaccination, anti immunisation, climate change and other 'post truth' social issues; how to best manage controversies; and what chronic disease prevention might learn from risk communication principles. . There will be an emphasis on how online environments and social media tools are contributing to public health advocacy debates and campaigns. Recent examples of how media have influenced health policy and programming will be presented. Students will have the opportunity to critique and analyse case studies from a variety of both successful and unsuccessful public health advocacy efforts. Students will examine, analyse, and prepare writing for both online and news media such as opinion pieces, media releases, blogs, and social media. The lectures will include guest speakers from non-government organisations, government and other experienced stakeholders from across the public health sector.

Code PUBH5430
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand how online and new media influence public health advocacy
  • LO2. write public health advocacy messages effectively for online media
  • LO3. examine the relationship between online media and traditional media in conducting advocacy
  • LO4. analyse the elements of successful and unsuccessful public health advocacy efforts
  • LO5. understand the breadth and depth of the online social media landscape and how it can be used for effective public health advocacy.