Health Communication in the Age of Infodemics




  • Part 1 of each course session – Collaborative Definition of Needs, Gaps, and Strategic Challenges 
  • To collaboratively identify existing power structures and influence dynamics on social media platforms in an effort to see the barriers and the opportunities for effective evidence-based knowledge sharing on the platforms, at a community-based, national, and international level. 
  • To identify the limits and opportunities afforded by traditional knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange paradigms in the context of modern social media communications. 
  • To adapt traditional knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange paradigms (e.g., the Wagner model) to identify the components of effective social media communications. 
  • To identify the challenges and opportunities in measuring the effectiveness of audience awareness and engagement of public health communications on social media platforms. 
  • To identify communications principles on social media that help to engender trust, empathy, equity, and diverse stakeholder public engagement. 
  • To evaluate measurement systems that measure the effectiveness of social media public health campaigns, such as demand-generation campaigns for vaccinations against Covid-19. 
  • Part 2 of each course session – Application of Emerging Best Practices: 
  • Develop measurable communication objectives, strategies, tactics, tools, and resources to inform a range of target audiences about public health goals. 
  • Write and edit clear, accurate, targeted scripts and storyboards aligned to public health objectives, appropriate for the chosen social media channels and a specified audience. 
  • Apply visual, audio, multimedia and interactive elements, fundamental design principles, and accessibility standards independently and collaboratively to produce persuasive, timely communications appropriate for diverse social media channels and audiences. 
  • Select information sources, research tools and results, and apply analytical skills to guide the development of communication objectives, selection of strategies and tactics and evaluation of the impact of public health activities. 
  • Select and use current social media platforms and emerging trends to enhance the quality and delivery of public health guidelines and to support the World Health Organization’s effectiveness. 
  • Collaborate with scientists and researchers to fight misinformation by producing plain language summaries of new evidence to promote public clarity of scientific findings. 


As social media grows as a major source of public health information, it becomes incumbent on healthcare workers who are active in public-facing communications to establish an expert online presence to offer credible, easily digestible information. Further, different members of the class, and different stakeholders, will have different perspectives on how a strategic approach to public health communications should be framed. Developing a successful web and social media presence requires a strategic communications plan. This course introduces students to principles of strategic communications for the current information age. This course offers students an awareness of past and current trends, insights from social media platforms, creating customized digital content, maintaining engagement, and becoming a reliable source for credible information for followers. This course equips students with best-practice social media amplification methods, matrix tools used in organizations to gain decision-making insights, data visualization, social media metrics, and data analysis. 


Neil Seeman

/ /

Accepting Students

Senior Fellow & Adjunct Professor

Mrigank Shail

Accepting Students

Evaluation Breakdown



This course offers students one or more core competencies in each of the “action” and “enabling” domains specified in the NHCL Health Leadership Competency Model (Health Leadership Competency Model 3.0. Chicago, Illinois: National Center for Healthcare Leadership; 2018). These include the following NHCL core competencies: 

  1. Community Collaboration  –  The ability to align one’s own and the organization’s priorities with the needs and values of the community, including its cultural and ethnocentric values, and to move health forward in line with population-based wellness needs and national health agenda.  
  1. Organizational Awareness  –  The ability to understand and learn the formal and informal decision-making structures and power relationships in an organization or industry (e.g., stakeholders, suppliers). This includes the ability to identify who the real decision makers are and the individuals who can influence them, and to predict how new events will affect individuals and groups within the organization.  
  1. Relationship & Network Development  –  The ability to establish, build, and sustain professional contacts for the purpose of building networks of people with similar goals and that support similar interests 
  1. Communication Skills – The ability to use written communications in formal and informal situations to convey meaning, build shared understanding, and productively move agendas forward.  
  1. Communication Skills (cont.)  – The ability to use spoken communications in formal and informal situations to convey meaning, build shared understanding, and productively move agendas forward.  
  1. Initiative  –  Identifying a problem, obstacle, or opportunity and taking action in light of this identification to address current or future problems or opportunities. Initiative emphasizes proactively doing things and not simply thinking about future actions. Levels of proficiency relate to the time scale of focus, moving from addressing current situations to acting on long-term future opportunities or problems. 
  1. Collaboration – The ability to work cooperatively and inclusively with other individuals and/or teams they do not formally lead; working together, as opposed to working separately or competitively.  
  1. Impact & Influence – The ability to persuade, convince, influence, or impress others (individuals or groups) in order to get them to go along with or to support one’s opinion or position. The “key” is understanding others’ interests and motivations, in order to have a specific impact, effect, or impression on them and/or convince them to take a specific course of action. 
  1. Interpersonal Understanding – The ability to accurately hear and understand the unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns of others, especially those who may represent diverse backgrounds and very different worldviews. Levels of proficiency relate to the increasing complexity and depth of understanding, as well as openness to perspectives very different from one’s own. 
  1. Innovation – The ability to approach one’s work and the organization in new and breakthrough ways, including applying complex concepts, developing creative new solutions, or adapting previous solutions in promising new ways. 
  1. Professional & Social Responsibility – The demonstration of ethics, sound professional practices, social accountability, and community stewardship. Acting in ways that are consistent with one’s values and what one says is important. 
  1. Information Technology Management – The ability to see the potential for administrative and clinical technologies to support process and performance improvement. Actively sponsors the continuous seeking of enhanced technological capabilities. 
  1. Well-Being – Establishes habits supporting well-being, and creates a work climate supportive of the total health of oneself and others. This includes role-modeling healthy habits and practices, and monitoring internal and external environments for opportunities to improve health. 


Health Communication in the Age of Infodemics


Course cancelled.