Communication Essentials for Member States
The most fundamental skill any good communicator possesses is a clear understanding of the change they want to see in their target audience. This online course on communication essentials in public health for Member States aims to provide you with knowledge and tools you need to communicate effectively during disease outbreaks and health emergencies.
Self-paced
Language: English
Basic (Basique)

Course information


Overview: The most fundamental skill any good communicator possesses is a clear understanding of the change they want to see in their target audience. This online course on communication essentials in public health for Member States consists of 5 modules. We will look at: what is SOCO and how to develop it; stakeholder analysis and strategies to define your target audience; risk communication framework and ways people perceive risk; developing a story line; and dealing with the media. Whether you work for the government or you are a response personnel working in public health emergencies, we hope that this course will provide you with knowledge and tools you need to communicate effectively during disease outbreaks and health emergencies. We hope that you will be encouraged to participate in a discussion board to gain more in-depth knowledge on this topic from other experts working in this field.

Learning objective: Gain the knowledge and tools necessary to communicate effectively during disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

Course duration: Approximately 5-6 hours.

Certificates: No certificate available at this time.

Course contents


  • Module A: What is SOCO and how to develop it:

    Everything we do as health experts involves communications - whether that's health advice, technical support, or crisis management. Meet Marten, a Health Officer in the Ministry of Health, to remember why effective communications skills are so important.
  • Module B: Stakeholder analysis and strategies to define your target audience:

    This step of the process is about the most important and changeable element in any communication: the audience.
  • Module C: Risk communication framework and ways people perceive risk:

    This segment deals with how risk is perceived by audiences and how to select an appropriate risk communications strategy. All of our work in public health is about reducing risks to people's health. Risk is related to the hazard to which people are exposed (a virus, the use of tobacco, environmental pollution, dangers of human rights abuse) and their ability to protect themselves from danger (capacity).
  • Module D: Developing a story line:

    Developing a story is essential to good communications. Identifying the key points you want to talk (communicate) about and creating a sense of narrative will help get your message across more effectively. In this segment you'll be a Department of Health (DOH) staff member in Jasmina, a (fictional) country. The DOH is involved in various health projects in the country but not everyone seems to understand the work the DOH is doing.
  • Module E: Dealing with the media:

    In this segment you'll discover how to deal with the media. You'll practise this role by becoming the spokesperson for the Jasmina women's cancer issue.
  • Assessment:

    You'll now be asked twenty questions to check your understanding of the whole course. You'll get your score at the end of the assessment.

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If you would like to enroll for this course, there are no formal prerequisites or limitations. The course is free and open for everyone. Just register for an account on OpenWHO and go for the course!

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Learners enrolled: 3186
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