Name and Purpose of the Organization
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948. “World Health Organization does not only focus on diseases globally. World Health Organization purpose is health leadership for physical, metal and social well-being. World Health Organization is worldwide, promoting health”. (About US, n.d.)
World Health Organization has offices in, one hundred and fifty countries. WHO headquarter is in Geneva. World Health Organization has over seven thousand people assisting the mission. (About US, n.d.)
“World Health Organization provides health information in multilingual through publication and websites. The multilingual makes access equitable and effective reaching many people in a language they can understand.” (About US, n.d.)
How long is the plan
World Health Organization communication plan is two years. “WHO strategic communication framework for effective communication” plan PDF is fifty two pages. (World Health Organization, 2017) Per the Communication plan by The World Health Organization, “Communication is a necessary component of any effort to achieve positive health outcomes. World Health Organization must provide accurate health information in a way that encourages audiences to take action and follow advice and guidance to protect safety and health” (Background, n.d.).
Communications Plan Content
The WHO communications plan includes 6 basic principles; accessible, actionable, credible and trusted, relevant, timely, and understandable. Frist, accessibility refers to the audience for WHO communications needing to have access to the information in order to receive it. This includes not only using mass media but also taking advantage or community organizations, the internet, interpersonal communications, and ensuring that disabled persons also have access the information. Second, actionable means that there needs to be a step or action that participants need to undertake or actions they need to stop participating in. It looks at determining what is appropriate to send out, finding a trusted way to get that message out, and understanding social norms that would either help or hinder the action. Third, credible and trusted pertains to the reputation of the WHO. As a result, WHO must be extra vigilante in making sure their reputation stays pristine by being transparent, fact checking, admitting mistakes and understanding uncertainty. Fourth, relevance is the need for WHO to have their audience accept the message because it directly relates to them and the people they care about. They achieve this by listening to their audience, tailoring messages specifically for certain groups, and knowing how to motivate their audience. Fifth, timely refers to getting information to the audience in time to properly make accurate health decisions based on current standards. Lastly, understandable refers to WHO needs to break down a fairly technical field such a medical and health related science and make it understandable for professional and laymen alike.
In addition to in depth defining of their six principles, the WHO communications also details an evaluation process to ensure that their communication plan remains effective and up to date. It calls for an evaluation of everything in communications from individual messages to full-fledged campaigns. They look to see if the message was effective, if it reached the intended audience, and what they did that worked well/needed improvement. The communications plan ends with a breakdown of the various types of communication that WHO uses. It encompasses everything from news media, to internet/website, and face to face training to health campaigns.
Every non-profit organization should have a goal or aim for what their organization should achieve and aspire to. According to the World Health Organization, “WHO’s goal to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world...WHO needs all employees to understand and use communications effectively to achieve programmatic goals” (p.1). Despite the strategies, mediums, and demographics the communication for events, items, or articles vary, what binds them is the fact in which they all have the same goal. This shared goal allows for the supply of information and counsel to key actors, enabling them to act towards safeguarding the health of communities and countries at large (World Health Organization, 2017). In order to effectively communicate one’s message to fellow employees within the same organization, stakeholders, and with the community a goal or goals must be present. To be precise, the World Health Organization states (2017),
“It is important to recognise that WHO communication must be timely, understandable, accessible, relevant, actionable, and credible to support efforts to achieve health impact. These are the goals of complex campaigns and interventions which can involve raising awareness, increasing knowledge, influencing attitudes, and building confidence in WHO recommended changes” (p. 45).
WHO Measures of Success
One of the first steps to success is to evaluate what plan or strategies are already in place. WHO includes seven evaluation steps as follows: to identify an item or event to improve, identify a strategy for improvement, create indicators to measure, perform a standard assessment, to redefine indicators, implement new strategies, measure progress (World Health Organization, 2017). Once an evaluation of a product, activity, or plan takes place a non-profit like WHO continues to scale and endeavor to increase their success. Overall, World Health Organization (2017) defines their measures of success as follows; “Communication efforts should be measured on how well they contribute to health impact, as communications can alter levels of knowledge, influence attitudes, and increase knowledge” (p.45). In order to attain their goal for safeguarding a local community or nation’s health a non-profit must incorporate a communication plan with the undertaking of planning procedures.
The World Health Organization has done an outstanding job in presenting an organized and easy to use guideline when it comes to their communication plan. The plan is broken down into six key sections in regards to communication within the organization. The six sections are as follows: accessible, actionable, credible and trusted, relevant, timely, and understandable (World Health Organization, 2017). Each spells out exactly how the organization wants communication to take place and acts as a resource for those who represent the organization.
Another positive from the World Health Organization communication plan is that it is written so that anyone within the organization can easily understand it and reference it. From high-level officials and medical professionals to entry-level employees, all can utilize this guide so that proper communication as a representative of the World Health Organization can take place. Further into the guide we also find guide we find specific examples of types of communications and how they should be handled and presented such as emergency communications, health campaigns, and multilingual communications (World Health Organization, 2017). By giving these examples, employees and representatives can easily make reference to the examples and use them to make sure their form of communication is properly representing the organization.
One of the downsides to having such a detailed communication guide such as the one the World Health Organization uses is that it does not allow much room for flexibility when it comes to new ideas. As time progresses new people join the organization and with these new people new ideas will undoubtedly come with. Modern day organizations must be open to these new ideas so that they can grow with the world around them and not stagnate as many organizations and collectives have in the past. When an organization fails to keep up with current trends, especially in regards to how people communicate, the outcome tends to impact the organization negatively.
The WHO communications plans is thoroughly thought out and detailed. Therefore, there is nothing that would need to be done differently. The plan encompasses every aspect of a proper communications strategy. According to Pasquier and Villeneuve a communication strategy from lay out a general framework, identify a target audience, craft and distribute a message, and detail a process for evaluation (2018). The general framework laid out makes it clear the direction the plan will be headed; that it recognizes the need to get information out and that the framework can be used to for all WHO communications. The audience is clearly defined as health decision makers such as individuals, health-care providers, and policy-makers. The plan then goes into great detail as to how they will craft their message and the means by which they use to distribute the message. Finally, it divulges a in depth and regimented evaluation process that looks at the effectiveness of organization communication.
About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/about
Background. (n.d.) Retrieved from
Pasquier, M., & Villeneuve, J. (2018). Marketing management and communications in the public sector. London: Routledge.
World Health Organization. (2017). WHO strategic communications framework for effective
communications [PDF file]. Retrieved from