Using Advertising Principles in Public Health Campaigns (HLOL #48)

Michael Mackert PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on using traditional and new digital media to provide health education to audiences of all levels, interests, and familiarity with health. Mackert is an advocate of using advertising principles in public health campaigns. In this podcast, he talks about:

  • Advertising and public health campaigns. How these strategies are alike and how they differ.
  • Ways to use social media and traditional press to promote your public health message.
  • Stories, examples, and practical suggestions you can use right away.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 11, 13, 40.


  1. Sara Rattigan, MS says

    This is a great interview; thanks very much to both of you. As a health communicator now working in public health, I agree that a majority of campaigns that come from public health orgs are primarily education driven, without as much thought to tailored messaging or strategy.

    My hope is that, with the growing number of people pursuing degrees in Health Communication (HCOM) and gaining expertise in assessing audiences and developing the kind of messaging Dr. Mackert refers to, we’ll also start to see a change the nature of many public health campaigns out there.

    And I appreciate the nod to local universities for collaboration and expertise–my program has a local HCOM student that will be developing a campaign design and messaging for one of our projects, as her thesis; something that will benefit both of us!

  2. Have you incorporated the recent RWJF report, New Ways to Talk about the Social Determinants of Health into your thinking about crafting health messaging to promote healthy action? I find it quite chew and am keeping at letting the concepts filter into my work on messaging around refugees and other vulnerable populations.

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