Working with the News Media: How to Enhance Your Message (On-demand Webinar)

2 modules

Course Length
90 mins

Region IV Public Health Training Center

06 Sep 2023



Working with the News Media: How to Enhance Your Message

Note: This is a recording of the live webinar that took place on September 6, 2023.

Training Overview:

What do we do when we are asked to talk about a public health issue? How do we ensure that the public trusts what they hear when important information about a public health issue is shared on the news? How do public health professionals demonstrate confidence and competence when called on to share important information? The objective of this webinar is to equip participants with an understanding of how to work with the news media in both a proactive and reactive manner. The course covers the basics of media relations, and provides tips on developing a media strategy, proactively pitching story ideas, interviewing techniques, staying on message, and controlling the communication.  

About the Trainer

Dr. Cynthia Jorgensen is an Adjunct Professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, with joint appointments in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences and the Executive MPH Program. Dr. Jorgensen recently retired from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she was the Associate Director for Communication, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. In this role, she oversaw the communications efforts for a variety of vaccine-preventable and respiratory diseases and was actively engaged in CDC’s COVID-19 response. While at CDC for more than 30 years, Dr. Jorgensen applied her expertise in behavioral science and health communications to the development and implementation of several award-winning campaigns in hepatitis, cancer, genomics, and HIV/AIDS. Cynthia has held numerous leadership positions, including Chair of CDC’s Behavior and Social Sciences Working Group (BSSWG) and President of the National Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). Cynthia received her doctoral degree in Health Behavior and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BA/MA in Health Communications from Boston University.

CERTIFICATE:  The course contains two modules: a module to access the webinar plus an additional module for the evaluation and any other resources. After accessing both modules and completing the evaluation link, the course will update as complete in Learn Upon. When the course is complete, the certificate will be available for learners to download directly from their dashboard.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP31680, Public Health Training Centers for $4,348,992. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of having a media strategy  

  • Discuss the differences between proactive and reactive media relations  

  • Name four documents that can help control the message when working with the news media  

  • Apply key media relations principles when responding to a media interview   

  • Develop compelling sound bites for audio or video interviews 


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Working with the News Media

Working with the News Media: How to Enhance Your Message (Recording of Live Webinar on September 6, 2023)
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Evaluation and Resources
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