Web Forum

How to Talk About Your Work So People Listen
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | 10:30 AM to Noon Pacific

Join PHI’s communications team for a two-part web forum designed to help you to better talk about your work to the people who need to hear about it.

In the first half, Anne Sunderland will help you answer the fundamental question, “Why does what you do matter?” Learn best practices and strategies to help you effectively assess the true impact of your work – and communicate that to a variety of audiences in ways that can garner broader awareness, attention and support. Learn how to lift up the concrete outcomes that matter: the ways in which your work makes a difference in the lives of real people and communities. We’ll explore techniques to break free of “public health speak” and use language and storytelling that can resonate with lay audiences.

In the second half, Carolyn Newbergh will use her experience as a journalist to explain how to work with the media to extend the reach of research into policy, practice and ultimately, into better health outcomes. With headlines like “Fizzy Drinks May Make Teens Explode” and overblown coverage of cures and breakthroughs that never come to pass, is it any wonder that many public health professionals are reluctant to share their research findings with the news media? Know when your results are newsworthy and should be promoted, and how to work with reporters. Learn how to talk effectively to news reporters, in plainspoken English that eliminates technical jargon, provides context and says why a study matters.


  • Explain why the collection of concrete project outcomes are the foundation of effective communication.
  • Explain the impact of your public health work in a way that lay audiences can understand and relate to.
  • Explain why it is important to publicize research.
  • Identify research that merits media attention.





    Carolyn Newbergh
    Writer and Editor
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Carolyn NewberghFormer journalist Carolyn Newbergh encourages PHI researchers to share their scientific findings with the media – in language non-researchers can understand. Carolyn was an editor and reporter at the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, reporting on health, public health and government, and was an investigative reporter for two years. She has been a freelance writer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. Carolyn is a graduate of the UC Berkeley master’s program in journalism and interned in the White House Press Office. (www.phi.org)

    Anne Sunderland, MPH
    Communications Specialist
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Anne Sunderland, MPHAnne Sunderland, MPH, has 13 years of experience in health care and public health, with special expertise in developing effective communications strategies and products. She has helped diverse clientele, including clinicians, researchers, advocates and health care organizations, gain exposure in the press, increase funding and educate lay audiences on important health topics. Her articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Social Science and Medicine and other news outlets and trade journals. (www.phi.org)


    Ann Whidden, MPHAnn Whidden, MPH
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Ann Whidden is Director of Communications at the Public Health Institute, where she leads communications strategy, messaging and framing development and media outreach efforts. She has twenty years’ experience as a health and communications professional, working with progressive corporate and non-profit clients to create compelling strategies that amplify best practices, capture media attention, and inspire action. (www.phi.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank:

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