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This summer, I had the honor of hosting a session at AcademyHealth’s 2015 Annual Research Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The title of the session was “Research Narratives 3.0: Tips, Tools and Takes from Masters of Storytelling.” My guests were Tony Foleno, VP of Research for the Ad Council and Evonne Young, Communications Expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

I organized this session for two reasons. As a member of AcademyHealth’s Translation and Communications Interest Group, I know that my research, policy and practice colleagues are increasingly responsible for disseminating their work and are looking for the best ways to do so. I also believe that my colleagues and I can do a much better job of engaging with the public around public health and health care issues. After all, why should politicians, comedians and actors have all of the framing the narrative fun?

So, I am taking “Tips, Tools & Takes: On Telling Compelling Public Health Research Stories” on the road, so to speak. In this space I and my guests will share (You guessed it.) tips and tools for telling compelling stories about public health and health care and back it up with creative and effective examples.

What just happened? [credit: Markus Spiske 9-21-15 | StockSnap]

What just happened? [credit: Markus Spiske 9-21-15 | StockSnap]

I base this blog on the premise that effective storytelling is a key to capturing attention, informing the public and competing with other narratives. Yes, we experts can and should tell evidence-based stories that inform and inspire. After all, what good is all of that data, analysis and insights if few people know it exists or understand it?

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