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Within the state of Virginia, overall obesity rates are prevalent among children, and have been on the rise since 2003 (Child Policy Research Center, 2011). Childhood Obesity has dire consequences on the United States’ health and economy, as it is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers (Child Policy Research Center, 2011). Currently, Virginia is responding to this issue by providing grants to schools to encourage healthy eating and to provide safer walking routes to schools (CDC, 2012). In visiting the state of Virginia on a legislative call, the goals will be to support the state’s capacity to address public health and to help establish sustainable interventions to address the obesity epidemic. To accomplish these goals, healthy eating and active lifestyle will be emphasized by improving dietary quality and increasing physical activity. < Click Essay Writer to order your essay >

Communications Plan
In the implementation of policy and politics, strong communication skills are key in ensuring that messages to the public are well conveyed. As such, the three vital communications skills that will determine the success of this policy include: emotional intelligence, clarity, and knowledge (Davenport, 2014). Emotional intelligence refers to the manner in which the speaker dwells on the emotions of the audience (Jorfi, Jorfi, Yaccob, & Nor, 2010). In this case, the audience will be the people of Virginia, and the leaders of the communities within it. Obesity is a personal and emotional topic for many people, and speakers must use emotional intelligence when addressing it. This will ensure that the audience remains captivated and interested in what is being said, without the possibility of them taking offense to the message. Other key components of the communications strategy lie in the clarity of the message and the knowledge it presents (Effective Communications, 2013). In coordinating these communications skills, a speaker can effectively address an audience on a sensitive topic, without the audience losing focus or taking offense.

Communications Message
The message presented to the legislator will emphasize policies that support healthy and active lifestyles among the populace. Audiences best respond to statements that they understand, with facts and general statistics that they can relate to. By making reference to current statistics regarding childhood obesity and their relation to future health concerns, the speaker will be able to relate to the audience and convey the importance of the presented policies. . [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Communications Recommendations
In dealing with the local legislator, it would be ideal to use a written communications approach, as it suits formal communications with individuals who may have limited time (Carpenter, 2016). Through utilizing written communications, the speaker can allow the legislator to respond at their leisure, as well as ensuring that they do not forget any key points, and that they clearly structure their argument. Using written communication will allow for both the speaker and the local legislator to send and receive messages, while still engaging in other activities, as well as ensuring that the discussion remains formal and professional.
Empirical Evidence

A strong communicator puts their message across through adequately preparing for all three stages of communications: plan, message, and follow-up. Communications strategies in health care were developed and experimented with by the DECIDE (Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions based on Evidence) consortium between 2011 and 2013. This consortium found that in order to understand evidence-based recommendations, researchers must follow guidelines to effectively communicate their findings to key stakeholders (Treweek, et al., 2013). This research consortium’s findings correlate to what we have hypothesized about effective communications strategies, which leads us to believe that they are accurate.
Examples of Successful Presentations

Nurses have hundreds of experiences on which to draw on to impact public policy. Through utilizing strong communications skills, they can influence these policies to better serve patients (Maryland & Gonzalex, 2012). For example, in 2011 Patti Moss and Iva Hall received research results that revealed a need for change in Texan law (Abood, 2011). To do this, they worked with a consultant to hone their communication skills and develop a bill to remove the barriers to a comprehensive disaster plan, that they later successfully pitched to a legislator. Through this, they were able to act as nursing advocates to improve the state disaster plan for individuals with special needs. It is the obligation of nurses to strengthen communications skills to enable them to influence public policy and better serve the needs of their communities. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Effective communications strategies are key to discussing sensitive issues, such as childhood obesity, with legislative leaders. In planning for their presentations, speakers must include a well-prepared and knowledgeable argument, with an articulate message focused on solutions, and preparation for a follow-up including understanding of the recipient’s point of view (Effective Communications, 2013). By implementing strategies of emotional intelligence, clarity, and knowledge, a legislative speaker can help ensure that they achieve the community support they require for new policies.


Abood, S. (2011, January 7). Influencing Health Care in the Legislative Arena. Retrieved from Nursing World

Carpenter, M. (2016). Different Types of Communication. Retrieved from Catalog Flatworld:
CDC. (2012, September). Virginia: State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Profile.

Child Policy Research Center. (2011). Virginia State Fact Sheet. Retrieved from Child Health Data:
Davenport, B. (2014). 10 Good Communications Skills You Absolutely Must Know.

Bold and Bloom:  Effective Communications. (2013). Retrieved from The National Archives:
Jorfi, H., Jorfi, S., Yaccob, H., & Nor, K. (2010, September 15).

R. I. (2012, January 31). Patient Advocacy in the Community and Legislative Arena.

Treweek, S., Oxman, A., Alderson, P., Bossuyt, P., Brozek, J., Davoli, M., . . . Vandvik, P. O. (2013, January 9). Developing and evaluating communication strategies to support informed decisions and practice based on evidence (DECIDE): protocol and preliminary results.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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