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Health Education & Promotion

ORAU blends communication, marketing, preparedness, technical training, and research skills to develop solutions that inform the public and equip health professionals to respond to the most pressing public health challenges.

Our experienced professionals and award-winning solutions have helped secure national and global health since 1946. We specialize in developing and facilitating training solutions to protect the health and safety of workers and consumers across the globe. Our evidence-based solutions are tailored to help federal and state agencies, preparedness professionals, and local communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of public health and healthcare emergencies.

Health Communications & Marketing

ORAU health communication and marketing professionals collaborate with leading public health organizations and share expertise and experiences in the United States and around the world.

Whether delivering preventive health messaging on vaccines in Asia, preventing transmission of Ebola in Africa, containing pandemic flu in the Americas, or addressing the opioid challenge in Appalachia, the ORAU team builds effective communication strategies and creates interventions and products tailored to specific audiences facing serious health issues.

ORAU develops measurable health communication interventions to effectively reach high-risk audiences to prevent or mitigate critical health concerns. Our experts employ proven marketing strategies and innovative technologies to disseminate tailored disease prevention messages and materials.

Impact Areas

What we do

The ORAU health communications and marketing team can advise you on the most powerful approach to meeting your program’s needs. ORAU communications professionals start with a strong collaborative foundation with our client to create cost-effective health messaging, using formative research and concept testing to develop the right products. They utilize precise data collection instruments, program monitoring, and evaluation to make sure you are reaching the right audiences and that audiences are responding favorably to the health messaging. 

Man working at a computer

What we offer

  • Social marketing plan development, including concept discovery and design
  • Formative research, such as focus groups and online surveys
  • Product and resource development for print or electronic dissemination
  • Concept testing of proposed interventions
  • Writing and editing, including message mapping and message testing
  • Public and media relations, such as digital press kits and media buys
  • Audience specific and community-based interventions
  • Meeting, conference and expert panel support

Highlighting health communication and promotion strategies

ORAU’s strategic approach to understanding and engaging with in-person and digital communities is showcased in a number of ways, including:

  • A social media hashtag campaign for the CDC resulting in more than nine million Twitter impressions in the first month.
  • Capacity building to improve opioid addiction communication strategies.
  • Social listening research to identify vaccine hesitancy trends on Twitter.
Woman using a mobile device

Overcoming the opioid crisis

ORAU collaborated with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat the opioid epidemic by training local partners to:

  • Increase communication capacity
  • Effectively reach target audiences through social media
  • Identify best practices specific to communicating about opioids in Appalachia
  • Replace negative and stereotypical narratives with more balanced and hopeful success stories

Read more about the campaign

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Reducing addiction stigma in the media

ORAU and the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (IRJCI) sponsored a workshop to reduce stigma and increase compassion for those suffering from opioid use disorder:

  • Journalists trained to better understand substance use and recovery helps to promote ethical reporting, reduce stigma, and inspire hope.
  • “Person-focused” word choices (e.g., person with opioid use disorder) promote compassion and reduce reinforcing the stigma of addiction.

Read more about the workshop

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Is social media helping or hindering vaccination rates?

A team from ORAU and the University of Georgia is characterizing the digital channels, principal arguments and communication message tactics used by pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine advocates across social media for three different types of vaccines. Funded by ORAU’s ODRD program, this project examines message tactics and other components that can be used as part of a digital strategy to improve vaccine messaging on social media in an effort to increase vaccination rates.

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Improving awareness of breast cancer risk

Women under the age of 45 account for more than one in 10 new cases of breast cancer. ORAU, in support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed several communication and marketing campaigns to help improve awareness. The Bring Your Brave social and digital media campaign, Know: BRCA Education Campaign, and evaluation of Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) pilot program, are helping women better understand the risk factors and how to prevent breast cancer.

Women holding ribbons for breast cancer awareness

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s public health and healthcare solutions, contact Freddy Gray at (865) 576-0029 or