Using the Science of Story Building

The tobacco industry is infamous for using marketing and messaging to market their products to children and marginalized populations, and to influence tobacco legislation. For public health advocates to be successful in fighting against these harmful strategies, we must ensure that when we communicate, we aren’t yelling into the wind, but are strategic in our purposes and using the best of what social science teaches us. This month’s feature article explores how to use story building to move beyond awareness-raising and inspire belief and behavior change.

Step Into the World of Your Audience

When it comes to promoting healthy behaviors and the causes we care about, why do people have such wildly different responses? Despite our best work communicating for a safe, drug- and tobacco-free community, we often face resistance to real change. Research shows that building effective communications strategy requires us to look beyond our personal interests and focus instead on the people we’re supporting and what they care about most.