Critical health issues today, including the opioid crisis, cardiovascular disease, and mental health and trauma, demand that policymakers, practitioners, and consumers have the necessary information to inform their practice, influence social norms, adopt healthy behaviors, and follow treatment protocols. Rigorously designed and effectively delivered public health communication strategies can deliver the necessary knowledge and guide both practitioners and consumers in adopting healthy, life-saving behaviors.
AIR designs, implements, and evaluates award-winning communication and behavior change campaigns and strategies to motivate and support people in adopting healthy behaviors and to address a wide-range of health issues across the United States and around the world. AIR also serves the federal government by developing and disseminating national guidelines on important health topics. The knowledge base in these guidelines is critical to improving medical practice, and provides the research foundation for developing key messages to guide the public in adopting healthy behaviors.
Highlights of AIR's Work
With U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding and guidance, AIR created and implemented the national HIV Treatment Works communication campaign encouraging people living with HIV to take HIV medications, seek and remain in care, and adhere to treatment. This integrated social marketing campaign features people from across the United States who are living with HIV.
AIR worked with the CDC to create and implement the campaign, including national and local promotion, digital engagement, a campaign website, and promotional materials. National promotion included targeted print, broadcast, and online outlets. Local promotion included stakeholder engagement events and campaign activities in select U.S. cities most impacted by HIV. Through digital engagement, the campaign reached many audiences through social media outreach, including through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The campaign’s website features information and resources for people living with HIV. Promotional materials, such as posters and digital banners, are available for download and are co-branded with community organizations and local health departments.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Communication and Outreach around Federal Guidelines
In support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), AIR has created many tools, publications, and outreach tactics to communicate the nation’s latest guidelines for reducing obesity through dietary and physical activity behavior change. AIR’s work for ODPHP began with the development and dissemination of publications supporting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which provides science-based guidance through a toolkit, consumer booklet, posters, and factsheets to educate Americans about ways to improve their health through appropriate physical activity.
Most recently, AIR assisted with the production of the midcourse report, Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth, and the development of an infographic to further engage in the implementation and use of the guidelines. AIR also conducted audience research for the development of consumer materials in support of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
Since the first Surgeon General’s Report was released in 1964, scientific evidence on smoking and disease has expanded, linking exposure to tobacco smoke with an ever-increasing number of diseases and adverse health consequences. Although the smoking rate has been cut roughly in half since the 1964 report, smoking is still the single greatest cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States.
A Surgeon General’s Report carries significant weight and importance in the field of public health because its findings are based on a thorough search of the scientific literature that is pertinent to the topic under consideration. As with the seven previous reports, AIR’s support for the 2019 Surgeon General's Report includes literature searches; coordinating meetings with the CDC’s staff, expert scientific editors, authors, and reviewers; managing arrangements with chapter editors and authors; manuscript review; and final production for publishing through print and online media, including a 508-compliant format.