Connecting Research to Health Policy: workshops


  • Workshop 1 (Tools for Effective Message Development and Delivery): To build the capacity of population and public health researchers to more effectively pitch their work to media
  • Workshop 2 (Covering Science and Health Stories from a Public Health Perspective): To provide journalists with skills to cover health stories from a population and public health angle


  • Berkeley Media Studies Group – The US-based group studies how public health issues are characterized in the media and provides training to help researchers and journalists better pitch and frame public health stories.

Key points

  • Population and public health researchers are doing important work that has the potential to shape policies, programs and practices and to improve population health and health equity. But this work does not always make headlines and media analyses show that population health research receives less play in mainstream media than other health issues, such as health care.
  • Tips for researchers to pitch their work to the media
    • Researchers can make their messages appealing to the media by piggybacking on breaking news. When news breaks, researchers can write timely, strong and succinct blog posts or letters to the editor.
    • Researchers can build relationships with reporters through social media sites, such as Twitter.
    • Researchers should find and direct media to “authentic voices” - real people who are affected by the issues researchers are studying.
    • Researchers should provide media with visuals that illustrate the story they want to tell.
  • Tips for journalists to cover stories from a population and public health angle
    • When writing health stories, anecdotal stories and personal experiences are just part of the picture. Expand the frame of a story by asking about how factors such as the social and physical environments impact health.


These workshops were co-hosted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Population and Public Health and partners. Workshops were help in conjunction with the Canadian Science Writers' Association annual meeting in Montreal, Canada on June 6 and 7, 2013.


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