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NORC uses a variety of research and communication methodologies to inform communication strategies that promote personal health decisions and healthy behaviors.

Prescription opioid misuse. Health equity. Vaccination. These are some of today’s biggest health challenges, ones that NORC’s health communication practice has been tackling daily by supporting a range of federal, state, and local clients—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, foundations, nonprofits, and more—as they work to make our nation healthier.

Our communication experts identify, develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive, integrated, science-based approaches. For greatest impact, we ensure that these strategies, programs, and interventions are culturally and linguistically relevant to the diverse audiences our clients wish to reach.

Our health communication practice is successful because we are guided by research, committed to improving lives, and view the work we do through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Among other NORC assets, our health communication science expertise leverages a program area and a center that examine the ever-evolving social and digital space and the role it plays in how people think, the media they consume, and their health-related behaviors and decisions.

  • Digital Strategy & Outreach: This program area leverages emerging digital strategies and tactics to effectively disseminate critical health information and motivate behavior change. Guided by theory, and based in data and audience research, the portfolio of work in this program area seeks to test new and emerging methods of digital communication and data to inform knowledge, understanding, and interventions that can be persuasive to people from all walks of life. This has included working with social media influencers, mobile apps and text messaging, social media ads, and MeetUp groups, among others. 

  • NORC Social Data Collaboratory: The Social Data Collaboratory brings together social science researchers, information scientists, and new media specialists to study the intersection of digital communications and human opinions and behavior.

Health Issue Areas

  • COVID-19
  • Health Care Services Price and Quality Assessment (i.e., quality ratings for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, etc.)
  • Health Equity
  • Health Values & Beliefs
  • Mental Health
  • Prescription Opioid Misuse
  • Stigma Reduction (Obesity, Cancer, and Mental Health)
  • Substance Use
  • Vaccination
  • Vaping/Tobacco Use

Health Communication Services


  • Attitudinal and Behavioral
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Concept Messaging and Materials Testing
  • Digital Intervention
  • Formative
  • Issue Landscape Analyses
  • Legacy (Print, Radio, TV) and New Media
  • Social Media Monitoring and Analyses
  • Web Usability

Design & Implementation

  • Campaign Implementation Planning
  • Communication Strategy Development
  • Creative Briefs
  • Digital Design and Development
  • Infographics and Data Visualization
  • Materials Design and Development
  • Media Relations, Media Buying and Materials Dissemination
  • Message Development
  • Partnership, Stakeholder and Online Influence Coordination
  • Toolkit Development


  • Efficacy and Effectiveness Studies
  • Process and Outcome/Impact

Health Communication Science Experts

Highlighted Projects

Using Innovative Machine Learning to Detect Support and Opposition to E-Cigarette Use Prevention Messaging on Twitter and TikTok

First study to examine the content, sources, and patterns of diffusion of E-cigarette prevention campaigns


National Cancer Institute

Survey of Today’s Adolescent Relationships and Transitions

Understanding sexual behavior of Black and Latino young men to prevent HIV


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health