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Course Catalog

301.771.51 Case Studies in Communicating With the Media


Health Policy and Management
Winter Inst. term
1 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Washington, DC
Fri 01/19/2018 - Fri 01/19/2018
Class Times:
  • Friday,  9:00am - 5:30pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Pamela Davis
Course Instructor:
  • Patti Anderson
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Public health professionals are often tasked with communicating with the news media about health threats. This may be during an emergency situation, or to explain research and advocate for policies. Take this course to learn from real-life examples—both good and bad—and gain practical skills for effectively sharing your message with the media in the era of “fake news.”

Provides techniques and guidelines to understand and handle the media during both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics include: and overview of the media needs in a crisis, the essential elements of crisis communication plans, tips and techniques for spokespersons, common pitfalls to avoid, audience psychology, non-verbal communication and techniques for communicating complex information to the lay audience. Students review videotapes of news coverage and participate as spokespersons in videotaped simulation exercises.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. understand the challenges involved in communicating health information to the media and the techniques to improve their communications effectiveness
  2. explain the media’s perspective in the health communication process to improve the likelihood of success in communicating to the public via the media
  3. explain and demonstrate strategies for giving news media interviews and preparing talking points
Methods of Assessment:

Pre-course assignment 20%, Class participation 30%, Talking points memo 20%, Case study analysis 30%

Enrollment Restriction:

Graduate students only

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This course will be offered for 1 day in the JHSPH Winter Institute. Students are required to complete readings prior to the start of the course. The final assignments will be due no later than February 2, 2018.