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You’ve built your program, now you want  to promote healthy behaviors and your program’s activities to your workforce and encourage their participation. A large number of resources to help you do this are available from government and not for-profit organizations.

There are five steps to consider in developing an effective promotion activity.

Step One

Determine what you want to achieve and with whom. What is the specific purpose or goal of your communication activity? Do you want to increase employees’ awareness and knowledge about healthy behaviors or your wellness program, encourage them to participate in your wellness program, or both? Do you want to address your entire workforce, or target your communications to a specific group? The effectiveness of your health promotions and communications depend on targeted planning.

Step Two

Establish how you will deliver health communication messages effectively.  What are the most effective channels for reaching your audience and ensuring they see or hear your messages? Is signage in the employee break room the best choice? What about employee newsletters, Web sites, or meetings? Determining the best channels of communication will improve the reach and effectiveness of your messages.

Step Three

Identify and test the messages you want to communicate. What do the employees you want to reach need to know, believe, or do to accomplish your communication goals? What messages will be meaningful to them?

Step Four

Implement your communication activities. It will help to have a plan and timeline for your communication activities. Consider linking into national health observance activities.

Step Five

Identify what works and doesn’t work in your health promotion activities. Evaluating your efforts is critical to improve the effectiveness of your program. Always build mechanisms for assessing what worked and did not work in your communications efforts.
Each of these steps will be explained in more depth following the links to the left of this page.

Aids & Tools

Know More

  1. Learn more about health communication and promotion. is a site where the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) has pulled together key tools, research, reports, and resources for public health and health communication professionals.
    Making Health Communications Programs Work [PDF – 4.1 MB] is an online resource with planning steps that can help make any health communications program work, regardless of size, topic, geographic span, intended audience, or budget.
    The Community Tool Box web site describes how to develop a communications plan. 

Ask More

  1. How do I write SMART objectives?
    CDC has many examples for several types of programs that can be adapted for your program. 
    Writing SMART Objectives
    A Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
    Community Tool Box, Section 1. Developing a Plan for Communications
  2. Where can I find a health promotions calendar?
    Answer: has a comprehensive list of health observances and toolkits for raising awareness about multiple heath issues. 

Do More

  1. Get ongoing information about health promotion; sign up to receive regular health promotion updates.
  2. If possible and appropriate share health messages through your marketing department with the public.