Tag Archives: Strategic Communications

Three Lessons in Communication

By Sarah Moore on November 30th, 2017

As we finish the last of Thanksgiving leftovers, many of us are reflecting on the conversations that we had and didn’t have over the holiday. For the first time in years, my family didn’t talk about politics or where the world is going in a handbasket. We did talk about food, though. We pressed my […]

America’s Obsession with Individualism Is Making Us Sick

By Sarah Moore on June 21st, 2017

Developing upstream solutions to social problems is more effective than scrambling to apply reactive remedies downstream. Whether you call it prevention or “nippin’ it in the bud,” looking upstream leads to more lasting impact for more people. That’s why changemakers in community health view policy, systems, and environmental change strategies as the most promising approaches […]

How Changing Your Writing Style Can Improve Community Engagement

By Sarah Moore on March 8th, 2017

I once knew a guy who couldn’t smell. Anything. At all. And because scent is invisible, his inability to detect it was also invisible. So despite the fact that his cologne could overpower an entire room, I often forgot his perspective. I created countless awkward moments by suggesting that he smell food, flowers, or crayons. […]

How Nonprofits Can Thrive In a Post-Fact World

By Sarah Moore on December 8th, 2016

If a fact exists in a forest and no one is there to believe it, is it still true? You’ve probably heard by now that we’re living in a “post-fact” world. As a communications professional in the social sector, where accurate information and effective communication can improve and sometimes save people’s lives, I am deeply […]

How Power Embedded in English Can Undermine Your Work

By Sarah Moore on August 31st, 2016

Ownership, power, and violence are embedded in the English language. From possessive grammar to catchphrases with violent metaphors, how we communicate about our work can subtly undermine our best efforts at healthy community change, especially when working directly with communities. Whether English is your first language or thirteenth, its maze of rules—and exceptions to the […]

Improve Your Message By Asking Questions—Especially These Questions

By Tim Schwantes on August 24th, 2016

Healthy community leaders are constantly aiming to create demand and support for specific changes, and it can be tempting to use traditional health messaging, with its jargon and dense data sets, to sway opinion. However, when health is assumed to be the driving value for all audiences, that approach rarely works well. When resources are […]

Three Lessons My Neighbor Taught Me About Strategic Communication

By Sarah Moore on August 10th, 2016

A recent conversation with a neighbor taught me a few things about understanding. She and I usually disagree about almost everything—from politics to the meaning of life—but after two hours of talking one Saturday afternoon, we had a conversation that was “effective” from a communications standpoint. We not only came to understand what each other’s […]

A Fresh Model for Community-Driven Change

By Risa Wilkerson on March 23rd, 2016

Active Living By Design is about to launch a fresh model for community-driven change to reflect the evolution of our field’s growth. It reminds me of how far we’ve come. Early in my career, I was talked into wearing a Minnie Mouse costume at a health fair hosted by the local health department. My small […]

Advance Your Work by Telling Stories

By Sarah Moore on January 27th, 2016

When nonprofit and community leaders share our progress in creating healthy community change, we use data and stories as our primary tools. We rely on data to track changes, discover trends and make comparisons. We rely on stories to spark compassion, illuminate details and provide context. However, though both are vital for effective communication, storytelling […]

Propelling the Movement for Change

By Jill Birnbaum on September 30th, 2015

Reflections from Voices for Healthy Kids As advocates, each year we look with hope for new statistics that may show us more signs of progress in the obesity epidemic. Some good news came in the latest State of Obesity report—rates have remained stable among girls, regardless of race or ethnicity. Unfortunately, rates continued to increase […]