Three Tips for Improving Communication to Women
This year’s emerging “War on Women” – detailed by Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson, has increasingly dominated headlines in recent months. Stories have shifted from insurance coverage of birth control to the role of working mothers. What is troublesome, however, are how some serious health issues affecting women have been overshadowed, due to lack of political backing.
For example, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended that women have less frequent cervical cancer screening to avoid over treatment. What was lost in the discussion were the important messages coinciding with this issue and implications of the policy.
JPA provides three tips to improve the messages to women:
- Don’t dismiss the science. Too often health conversations are being driven by rhetoric rather than scientists. For example, The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Yet vaccines, such as Gardasil, are available, safe and effective for eradicating cervical cancer.
- Ensuring science is included in health conversations and having trustworthy researchers brings credibility and balance to an issue. It is also important to engage in, and not always step away from what could be seen as controversial, to educate the public about a disease’s implications.
- Be nimble with your messages. After a story is covered by the press, it is important that marketers both understand the messages being delivered to women and address the issues head-on.
- For example, shortly after the cancer screening changes announcement, Tara Parker-Pope at The New York Times wrote how women felt the annual gynecologist appointment had lost relevance. This is an important finding from an influential reporter – and messages should ensure this new issue is being addressed.
- Keep it simple. Last week Dr. Oz contributed a great article for TIME that discussed why the new task force guidelines are anxiety-provoking but shouldn’t be. He boiled it down to the fact that changes in women’s health recommendations are based on the evolution of better drugs and imaging, as well as our increased understanding of holistic healing.
- His article is a good reminder that when preparing for an interview, make sure your content is relevant, easy to remember and simple to digest.
Want to read more about women’s health issues? Follow @jpawomenshealth