The Communication, Marketing, Dissemination Core (CMD) was established within the Southern Center for Communication, Health and Poverty (i.e., the Center) to keep target audience needs at the forefront and use multiple communication approaches to reach audiences and stakeholders. We focus on internal communication within the Center’s working groups, other cores, projects, and external communication and contact with constituents.
Communication, marketing and dissemination functions are driven by evidence based on the Centers three studies–Genetics study, Youth and Smoking study, and Multiple Risk Factors pilot study - and other critical functions that support the Center. The CMD assists in the translation, communcoreteamcication and adaptation of key findings, the adoption of professional marketing techniques, and engagement of southern media. In particular, CMD support the efforts of the Center by providing an internal communication mechanism for project members, an identity and brand for the Center, communication with external groups and consultation with the investigators on creative and testing material, and publication strategies.
The Center’s Specific aims include the following:
- Communication with stakeholders and opinion leaders through symposia, publications, personal contact, and a range of media;
- Communication and engagement with target audiences
- Engagement of media, media advocacy, and media literacy with youth in the South;
- Appropriation of commercial marketing techniques to apply to communities and individual health practices;
- Translation and dissemination of research findings to communities and agencies in the south;
- Engagement of risk communicators to develop skills in the use of marketing strategies to change behavior; and
- Sharing lessons learned and relevant findings with other CDC sponsored Centers for Excellence.
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Dr. Dean M. Krugman, Co-Director
Dr. Doryn Chervin, Co-director
Dr. Vicki Freimuth
Dr. C. Ashani Turbes
Dr. Patricia Thomas
Dr. Sherrie Whaley
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The first six months were used to develop the mission statement and core values for the Center, and basic formats and strategies for communicating both internally and externally with Center team members and stakeholders. Activities particularly focused on development of internal communication systems that not only keep all investigators and staff up-to-date, but create synergies across studies and activities.
Programs and structures were developed and executed to facilitate communication. Additionally, we developed programs and structures for future communication, marketing and dissemination efforts. The following highlights progress of these programs.
- A CMD work group has been created to advise all elements of the Center dealing with communication, marketing, and dissemination. In addition to meeting on a formal basis during the general meetings, individual meetings are continually taking place between CMD investigators, study investigators and staff and other cores regarding communication issues.
- A values statement was created to articulate the principles of the Center. An iterative process among center member was used to create and agree upon this set of principles. The statement follows:
We affirm the centrality of communication to health protection and health care.
We avow that eliminating health disparities is a fundamental goal of health communication.
We will pursue the highest quality community-focused prevention and communication research.
We will translate research findings into practical interventions to improve the health of economically disadvantaged people of the South.
We will promote the professional development of stakeholders in health communication
We will collaborate with community partners to assure research practices that reflect their health concerns.
- SharePoint, a web-based communication system for all investigators and project members, was developed and installed by ORC Macro. SharePoint provides communities for team collaboration, enabling users to work together on documents, tasks, and projects. The environment is designed for easy and flexible deployment, administration, and application development. The site program allows all participants to review archived and new material posted on the site. The site is solely dedicated to the Center and provides access for documents among all three studies and each core as well as discussion forums on key issues. Staff availability, major programs and conferences, and key publications are kept up to date on the site for maximum communication among all participants. (See following page)
- A logo seen throughout the website was designed and implemented which put a “face” on the Southern Center on Communication, Health, and Poverty. The logo design was created to show the important and serious nature of health communication in a manner that conveyed a high level of competence and accessibility. The ORC Macro graphics department developed several initial/draft Center logos. The Center logos were then reviewed and vetted by the Center stakeholders during a series of team meetings. Following team member review, the color, tone and message of the logos were edited to ensure that the final logo was relevant to the Center’s focus on addressing health disparities among the poor and near poor in the South.
- The CMD supported the research activities of the three major studies by assisting and/or advising in the creation of methods and materials.
- A media audit of how health and poverty issue in the five Southern states is in the planning stage.
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