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The Art and Science of CommunicationProject Muso

The Art and Science of Communication

“Build it and they will come” doesn’t always work in public health.

“You can have all these great solutions to public health problems, but they’re not solutions unless they’re adapted, adopted and utilized,” says Susan Krenn, director of the Center for Communication Programs, which designs and deploys strategic communication programs to educate and influence health behaviors.

Established in 1983 and now housed in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, CCP has more than 60 active projects in nearly 30 countries and a staff of nearly 600. Its health communication programs address a broad range of health issues, including HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and family planning, malaria, water and sanitation and tobacco control.

The Center is a leader in the use of entertainment as a vehicle to deliver health messages to large audiences, says Krenn. There’s Bol, the Pakistani feature film about family planning and maternal health that has grossed more than any movie in Pakistan’s history; Chenicheni N’chiti, a radio program in Malawi that addresses HIV/AIDS issues; and Intersexions, the Peabody Award-winning South African television series, which traces the HIV virus through a network of sexual relationships.

“All of our entertainment education programs combine quality production and engaging stories as well as vitally needed health messages,” she says.

Krenn says that one of CCP’s great strengths is that the creativity of the work is grounded in communication research and theory.

“We use a proven process to get to something that’s going to address key issues, to resonate, to be relevant and to get the population to take up behaviors that will help them and change their lives,” she says.—Jackie Powder


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  • Lyn Julius

    South Africa 09/28/2012 09:45:26 AM

    Smart words and I appreciate the simple message" Malaria is a special fever"

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