THE GLOBAL COMMUNICATION PROJECT, 2023 EDITION (GCP2023)
PREFACE TO THE GCP2023
The content of this revised text and the courses it accompanies is taken largely from The Global Communication Project, a web-based text initially developed in 2015 by Drs. John Elder and Joseph Smyser of San Diego State University with invited additional authors. Beginning in 2019, additional iterations of The Global Communication Project have been edited by Dr. Katherine Elder of California State University - Channel Islands and have tracked the rapidly evolving field, continually adding new modules (including Geographic Information Systems or GIS, Digital Literacy, and the soon-to-appear Artificial Intelligence, or AI).
Since February 2020, this class has been taught 9 different times on four campuses in three countries. During this time, we all have gone through unprecedented domestic and global public health challenges. According to the World Health Organization, the United States has lost over a million lives to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to date, reflecting 10% of the number of confirmed cases in this country. Lower income countries suffered far more. Climate change has resulted in global heat records being broken, and natural disasters such as extensive hurricanes and flooding. In the summer of 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections provided by Roe v. Wade, and in 2023 ruled against affirmative action in college admissions and in favor of a wedding website developer who refuses to provide services to same-sex couples. Concurrently, social media have come to dominate all manner of communication efforts, with both positive and harmful results. As we approach the critically important 2024 U.S. elections, there has never been so much for those of us working in public health communication to address.
The good news for you who are public health students is that employers are seeing the value of social, health, and risk communication. By the end of this course, the learner should be able to design a public health campaign, which involves message development, conducting rigorous qualitative and quantitative research, and selecting channels and sources that connect the campaign with the target audience. These efforts will be informed by social media, AI, and other tools that are evolving so rapidly that they may be transformed in the time it takes to reach the end of the semester. Nevertheless, after completing the GCP2023, you will have the theoretical and practical foundation to continue to research to optimize your campaign's effectiveness. By completing the activities, viewing the hyperlinks in the text as you're able, and reading the content, you'll be ready to organize, create, and launch your campaign.
-KAE, August 2023