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Health Communications

MCD Public Health offers consulting and contract services on a variety of health communication topics, including communication planning, social marketing, and message framing.

Communication Planning

MCD Public Health offers health communication planning services for public and non-profit organizations. For example, we have worked extensively with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) since the late 1990's. We assisted the MeCDC Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in communication planning and implementation from 1997-2003. Since 2006, we have supported the MeCDC Oral Health Program to plan and implement a campaign to alter public perception of oral health and build community support for oral health programs and best practice policies. In recent years, we have also facilitated and assisted the MeCDC with HIV, HCV, and colorectal cancer screening communication planning and materials development.

Social Marketing

MCD Public Health has been actively engaged in creating social marketing tools and training at the local and national levels since 2001, with the launch of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported Social Marketing National Excellence Collaborative. As part of that effort we played a key role in the creation of four publications, multiple training curricula, and a Training-of-Trainers curriculum for the Collaborative’s signature tool, CDCynergy-Social Marketing Edition.

MCD Public Health staff provide interactive social marketing training for diverse audiences, tailoring content to meet client needs. We have provided training for quality improvement organizations within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Food Safety Program, Society for Public Health Education, and American Public Health Association. Within Maine, we have created and provided training and technical assistance for the Healthy Maine Partnerships, Maine Office of Substance Abuse grantees, and Headstart programs. In addition, we are regularly asked to make brief presentations on social marketing to groups working in community-based organizations and provide guest lecture presentations for the Health Communication course at University of Southern Maine.

Message Framing

Since 2006, MCD Public Health has worked with the MeCDC Oral Health Program to alter public perception of oral health, build community support for oral health programs and best practice policies, and influence oral health policy stakeholders. Survey data from the Watch Your Mouth initiative, which MCD managed from 2006-2008 in partnership with the Maine Dental Access Coalition, demonstrated success in maintaining and strengthening public support for key oral health policies. Increased stakeholder support for oral health was evident in the 2008 report from the Governor’s Task Force and in repeated votes from the legislature’s Joint Committee on Health and Human Services supporting key oral health policy advancements and opposing cuts in oral health services – in the absence of direct lobbying and despite severe economic challenges facing the state. This work contributed to an oral health return on investment project funded by Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF).

“MCD staff helped us update our website, develop and maintain and web-based communication system, and coordinate various parts of our educational outreach to policy makers and community leaders. We were able to access expert consultants who helped us implement our plans. MCD was adept at helping us hone in on our audience. Who were we trying to talk to, how could we best reach that audience, what did we want the audience to do once they had our message, and how would we know if we did?”
- Cindy Flye, Chair, Board of Directors, Maine Assembly on School Based Health Care

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