The WHO European Health Communication Network was established in 1997 to put health communicators (public information officers and journalists, as well as inter- and non-governmental organisations and the private sector) in touch with each other across the European Region. Some 130 members of the network, from 31 countries, met in May 1998 in Moscow to draw up guidelines for professionalism in communication, improving communication between the media and institutions, and identifying and strengthening the capacities of local, national and international communicators at times of disaster.
Using the open space meeting technique, the participants examined media relations, the effectiveness of health communications, the role of communicators in disasters, the need for professional codes of conduct and the use of public service announcements. This is a thought provoking report on the challenges facing those whose business is communicating about health.
Apfel F (1999) The pen is as mighty as the surgeon's scalpel: Improving health communication impact. Research report. Nuffield Trust.