10 tips for public health advocacy

There are many important principles and lessons that public health researchers and advocates who hope to influence policy and practice need to consider. In this paper, I set out what I consider to be 10 of the most fundamental of these. Together, these focus on the importance of preserving public confidence in the evidence base underscoring public policy; being clear and concrete about the policy reforms you support; emphasising the values on which policy is based; understanding the structure, conventions and subtextual features of news reporting; developing ‘killer facts’ with ‘earworm’ potential; appreciating that the advocacy process leading to policy change almost always takes a long time; and growing a rhinoceros hide to assist in the inevitable attacks you will face.

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