Effective Communication

Effective Communication

Photo - Man learningAt the heart of making food matter for all Nova Scotians is the ability to communicate and raise awareness about food security in ways that are inviting and help broaden the conversation. We need to recognize diverse perspectives and be willing to invest time and energy towards understanding how to ask others to consider an issue or a stance that might not be a priority in their lives. Ultimately, we want to grow the conversation around ways to Make Food Matter so that we can build healthy, just and sustainable food systems. A range of resources can be explored in this section to support you and your communication efforts.

Resources

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Title: Using Plain Language
Type: Guide
Author(s): FoodARC
Date: 2015

Plain language is communication that is clear, concise and straightforward so that a person can easily understand the information the first time they read or hear it. The information is developed with the user’s needs in mind and is formatted and presented in a way for easy reading or listening. Using plain language in the work we do is critical for effective communication and to ensure we get the right information, to the right people, at the right time. Our plain language guide is meant to be a quick reference and compliments the additional resources listed below.

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Title: How Did this Broccoli Get on My Plate?: Framing Food as a Public Issue
Type: Website
Author(s): Frameworks Institute
Date: 2008

How we frame a message is essentially how we describe an issue so that it can be both persuasive and have the impact we desire. Like a photo, a frame focuses the attention of the reader and provides an angle or approach to view an issue. This resource offers an array of tools to help with the framing of food as a public issue and outlines a series of strategic approaches to doing so. The additional resources support general, child nutrition and food systems messaging.

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Title: Shifting the Conversation: A focus on the Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity
Type: Toolkit
Author(s): Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority Public Health
Date: 2015

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. These conditions are often out of our control and have the potential to pose considerable strain on a person or community’s health and wellbeing. Communicating this concept is not always an easy task, as the impacts of the social determinants of health are not often well understood. People have different values and beliefs on what makes them and their communities healthy; therefore, the language used to frame these issues is crucial. The following resource outlines ways to talk about the social determinants of health effectively and provides a practical tool to assist you with the development of your own key messages.

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Title: Step 8 - Develop the Message Strategy
Type: Guide
Author(s): Centre for Health Promotion (University of Toronto)
Date: 2007

Effective communication requires the use of clear key messages shared in ways that are simple to understand and also easy to share with others. Taking the time to consider how to effectively communicate an issue to others will pay off in the long term.

Going through the steps of key message development can also help with your own work. By becoming more clear on what is timely about your issue can help direct goals and next steps within your organization or own work. There are three main elements of effective messages: What, So What, Now What? Once these elements are identified, consider the tone of the message, who should deliver the message, and what about this message will appeal to your audience (what will make it persuasive?).

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Title: How to Speak Powerfully
Type: Guide
Author(s): RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty
Date: 2015

Powerful and strategic communication is essential for any advocacy strategy. It can help get your message across, draw people in, and engage them in the issue. Being passionate about an issue is not enough to create change; you have to be able to convince others to feel the same way! Knowing how to frame a conversation, how much information to share and learning to tailor your messages to your target audience can go a long way in effectively communicating your thoughts. The following resource walks you through the ‘EPIC’ acronym to help guide powerful speech/conversation. The letters in ‘EPIC’ stand for: Engage your audience, state the Problem, Inform about the solution, and Call to action. The tools in this section will help you to learn more about ways you can strengthen and be more strategic with your communication in your advocacy work.

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Title: What is an INFOGRAPHIC?
Type: Guide

Infographics allow the public to visualize information in a way that can be understood and read quickly. They are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge and can be used to present complex concepts quickly and clearly to the general population. They are an effective way to communicate information that allows the reader to process the information in an engaging way that may make them more likely to retain and remember the information.

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Title: Get Started with Prezi
Type: Website
Author(s): Prezi
Date: 2015

Prezi is a presentation software that allows the user to create cloud-based stories to relay information visually to an audience. The program allows the user to zoom in and out of presentation data, creating an effective method of navigating through information, data, or knowledge. Use this as a fun and engaging alternative to PowerPoint presentations.

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Title: Feeding Nine Billion 1: Introducing solutions to the Global Food Crisis
Type: Video
Author(s): Dr. Evan Fraser, University of Guelph
Date: 2012

In a world of information overload, videos are a communication tool that convey messages in ways that are engaging and impactful. Videos are entertaining and allow the viewer to visualize the information and retain it more easily. They have the potential to stimulate interest in a given subject matter and can enhance action by the viewer. When creating a video as a communication tool, it is important to consider the target audience, the duration of the video, the quality and format of the information, and the intended purpose of the video.

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