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Strategic Media Use to Promote Public Health Programme


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The Public Health Programme in Østfold was established in 2002. Organised as a partnership between the county council, 15 of the county’s 18 municipalities and other actors on the health sector, it has approached the health challenges in the county through a “public health chain”.

Every partner has committed to promote the public health goals through an agreement, as they are set out in the county council plan. Based on teamwork and multidisciplinary groups the partnership arrangement has been proven to work even when complex problems are to be solved.

Communication and a skillful use of media have been an essential part of the success story.

Social & Health

Objectives of the Good Practice

The main goals of the communication strategy is to:
• Create public awareness.
• Make the benefits of public health work visible
• Contribute to health and health promoting choices of lifestyle
• Make sure that public health work is more valued and given more priority among all of the different partner organisations

Benefits: Effective use of media to promote public health matters has been an important part of the work, resulting in extensive coverage and increased public attention. Although the majority of news go to local media, stories on public health work from Østfold has reached the largest national newspapers, both print and online, as well as the national broadcaster NRK.

In 2006, the Public Health Programme also received the Østfold Communication Award for outstanding communication practice. Other direct results of the media coverage include the establishment of a dedicated public health section within the county council’s administration, increased budget allocations, stronger political commitment, and the fulfillment of other public health objectives.

In addition, Østfold has become a member of WHO’s Healthy Cities and is currently the leading county in Norway on public health work.

The fact that the programme has survived several budget cycles, is of course in itself yet another victory.

Participants of the Good Practice

Østfold County, 15 of its 18 municipalities, partner organizations

Target group of the Good Practice


More Details of the Good Practice

Documentation and documents

Available files

Contact details

Postboks 220
1702 Sarpsborg, Norway
Email: post@ostfoldhelsa.no


Data sources and references


(Visited on the 12th of December 2008)