Introducing Health Promotion Agenda-Setting for Health Education Practitioners
Health professionals must continuously address health promotion issues using the latest strategies and research. Currently in health care, too often an underdeveloped and under supported agenda prioritizes problems, issues, and solutions. Further, an ongoing competition exists among issues due to an undocumented agenda-setting process to gain the attention of media, public, and policy makers. Agendasetting is based on the belief that the media influence what we talk about, rather than controlling what we think, and how often an issue appears in the media influences the policy agenda (Dearing & Rogers, 1996). If an issue is “salient” and receives frequent or expansive coverage by media, audience members will talk more about that issue than one that is not as salient. A Health Promotion Agenda-Setting approach works to specify and prioritize problems and alternative solutions for increasing media exposure and setting agendas for “sustained” courses of action, (Kozel et al., 2003). The crucial link between agenda-setting and the process of establishing effective legislation, policy, and programs has been researched. However, many health practitioners do not understand what agenda setting is, nor how to apply agenda setting within the field of health education. Professional development in Health Promotion Agenda-Setting offers health education practitioners new knowledge, skills, methods, and opportunities to strengthen practices that influence the public health agenda and transform health promotion leadership.