WHO Would Better Communicate Health Messages By Creating New Consumer-Focused Web Site
Devex: Opinion: Should the WHO split in two?
Rick Lesaar, writer with the blog Health and Communications and strategic communications planner at Crabtree + Company
“Directly off the World Health Organization’s home page is a list of over 280 health topics addressed by the agency. They cover a number of diseases you would expect, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, as well as a number of conditions you might not, such as hearing loss, sunburn, passive smoking, and cellphones. It’s these latter topics that prompt the question: Should the WHO split its online presence in two? … If WHO were to divide and differentially curate its information between two different sites, one attuned for the general public and personal health, and another to researchers and practitioners of public health, it might find more interest, acceptance, and use from both audiences. … A new site could employ a more engaging format with fewer stories, larger graphics, scrolling pages, and more. A site like this might be more appealing to younger viewers, precisely those to target for changes in behavior as opposed to those in need of treatment. … I think this experiment is worth the risk: Do it. Leave the current site unchanged, but create the new site and carefully track its influence and affect, not just its page views. WHO’s mission is so critical that arguably it actually has an obligation to try new approaches and become more effective…” (1/6).