Background: The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Chronic Disease Prevention Messaging Toolkit (Messaging Toolkit) and Lifetime of Wellness tagline were developed to support the implementation of the California Wellness Plan (CWP). CWP is the result of a statewide process led by CDPH to develop a roadmap with partners to create communities in which people can be healthy, improve the quality of clinical and community care, increase access to usable health information, assure continued public health capacity to achieve health equity, and empower communities to create healthier environments. The Messaging Toolkit will be utilized to share key messages and Success Stories that support achieving the CWP goals and strategies. In addition, the Messaging Toolkit will be used by staff and partners to promote health promotion campaigns and initiatives.
Program background: The CDPH Messaging Toolkit is a deliverable of a three-year grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of the project was to create a chronic disease prevention unifying tagline and marketing tools for local health departments and community-based organizations to utilize as part of their health promotion program or initiative.
Evaluation Methods and Results: Development of the Messaging Toolkit included intensive marketing research (online surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews, and an online discussion board) with over 200 participants to ensure staff and partner input. The Messaging Toolkit includes communications information and templates to make it easier to craft health education messages for brochures, storytelling, social media and other communications forums. The toolkit and Storytelling templates are available online. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cdcb/Pages/New!OnlineChronicDiseasePreventionMessagingToolkit.aspx
Conclusions: Beginning in March 2015, webinar trainings are being conducted on how to use the Messaging Toolkit. Post-evaluation surveys will be conducted after webinar trainings and at the end of each funding year to obtain feedback from users on the effectiveness of the toolkit and Success Story templates. CDPH and its partners are now engaged in sharing health messages and Success Stories with partners, funders, policymakers, and the media. In addition, CDPH won a 2014 National Public Health Information Coalition award for Excellence in Public Health Communication, Out-sourced Webcast/Podcast Based Training category.
Implications for research and/or practice: Development of the Messaging Toolkit was an inclusive process with staff and partners that led to an increase in collaboration and sharing of communications resources. Utilization of the Messaging Toolkit and Success Story templates will provide an opportunity to share best practices, anecdotal stories, data, partnerships, community heroes, and more – to show our collective approach in addressing chronic disease prevention in California.