Public health professionals across the country have been in the spotlight because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether communicating about risk and prevention or advocating for structural change, advocates must evoke a narrative that consistently builds support towards public health goals. Strategic engagement with the news media is a powerful way for advocates to reach decision makers, activate allies and build public support. In this Web Forum Berkeley Media Studies Group will provide a brief introduction to media advocacy as a narrative change tool public health advocates can use in their work.


BMSG: Layers of strategy PDF
BMSG: Overall strategy worksheet
BMSG Message Development Worksheet:
BMSG Letter to the Editor Template
BMSG: Handout for Writing Op-eds or Opinion Essays
BMSG: Elements of Newsworthiness Handout


Shaddai Martinez Cuestas, MPH

Head of Training

Berkeley Media Studies Group

Shaddai Martinez Cuestas leads trainings at BMSG, where she supports advocates in enhancing their media and communication strategies to advance their policy goals. Shaddai holds a master’s degree of public health from U.C. Berkeley, with an emphasis on health and social behavior. Before joining BMSG, Shaddai was the HIV services…

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Chinyere Cindy Amobi, MPH

Strategic Communications Specialist

Berkeley Media Studies Group

Chinyere Cindy Amobi is a strategic communication specialist with Berkeley Media Studies Group, where she helps community advocates better frame and communicate their health policy goals. Chinyere has a B.A. in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine, and a masters of public health specializing in health communication from…

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Karya Lustig, MA, ISS

Director, PHI’s Program Office - CDC- Cooperative Agreement

Public Health Institute

  • Deputy Director, Center for Health Leadership and Practice, Public Health Institute,

Karya Lustig is director of the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) POCA (program office - CDC- Cooperative Agreement, and deputy director of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP). She provides vision, strategy and design on PHI’s approach to the potential and opportunity of the CDC Cooperative Agreement.  She works internally…

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