The United States Department of Health & Human Services developed
these avian influenza and pandemic influenza communication tools
using the communication science-based message mapping development
“Message maps” are risk communication tools used to help organize
complex information and make it easier to express current
knowledge. The development process distills information into
easily understood messages written at a 6th grade reading level.
Messages are presented in 3 short sentences that convey 3 key
messages in 27 words. The approach is based on surveys showing
that lead or front-page media and broadcast stories usually
convey only three key messages usually in less than 9 seconds for
broadcast media or 27 words for print. Each primary message has
three supporting messages that can be used when and where
appropriate to provide context for the issue being mapped.