There are a few steps to making an effective health broadcast.

Follow these eight top tips to make sure your radio programmes stir listeners into positive action and make healthy changes for their families.

  • Just telling your listeners to do something doesn’t mean they will – there are lots of barriers that might be stopping them. These could be certain attitudes or fears, what’s considered ‘normal’ in the community, or a lack of local facilities. To drive positive action, you need to tackle these barriers on your show. Speak to your listeners, experts and other key contacts, and take a look at the health topics for an idea of the common barriers.

  • Portray healthy behaviours as something your listeners will want to do. Make them easy to follow, and offer clear benefits. For example, to encourage listeners to vaccinate their children against polio, tell them exactly when and where to go. Explain that polio is a life-threatening disease that can only be stopped by vaccination, which is available to them. Talk about vaccination as the wise, sensible thing to do.

  • We’re strongly influenced by the people around us. So, find out from officials how many children in your community have been vaccinated recently, and if it’s a high number, tell your listeners so that vaccination is seen as the ‘normal’ thing to do. Or feature women on your show who are breastfeeding their babies to talk about why and how they’ve been able to do it, such as with support from a health worker and/or family members.

  • People might not listen to health advice from a radio producer, but they may pay more attention to a doctor or community elder. So invite health experts and supportive leaders to speak directly to your listeners. You could even ask a celebrity to help encourage others. And always get your facts from reliable sources, and then name them. So if a piece of advice comes from WHO, let your listeners know.

  • It’s crucial listeners feel the programme is for people just like them. So make sure your presenters and guests use everyday language, and explain any medical words your listeners might not understand. Take a look at the glossary for the meaning of some common terms relating to polio, hygiene and nutrition.

  • With more and more media content around these days, your programmes need to stand out so audiences want to listen and even encourage others to listen too. Take a look at our programme ideas for inspiration.

  • Our reactions to the things we hear can be very powerful, and can stir us into positive or negative action. So make programmes that draw out feelings inspiring listeners to make healthy changes. Drama or personal stories are particularly useful formats to engage listeners emotionally.

  • Health issues can affect women and men differently, so it’s important that your programmes represent and attract both genders fairly. Make a conscious effort to choose both women and men, as well as different minority groups, to be experts, contributors and audience members on your shows. And provide both female and male role models who can influence and empower your listeners.


Back to top