Timeliness Toolkit for Expanding Newborn Screening Services

Section 5: Communication Materials

This resource is part of the Timeliness Toolkit for Expanding Newborn Screening Services. Explore the full Timeliness Toolkit for Expanding Newborn Screening Services.



This section provides a list of communication tools and examples that your team may consider using during the advocacy process, including talking points, fact sheets, social media, etc. Of particular interest is the issue brief, developed by the March of Dimes, providing information, data, and potential policy solutions for expanding laboratory operating hours and courier in your state.

Issue Briefs

Issue briefs provide information, data, and potential policy solutions. Use or modify the Newborn Screening: Achieving Timeliness Issue Brief developed by the March of Dimes to meet the needs of your state.

Fact Sheets

Fact sheets provide basic information about how the program works and why the program needs change. They also provide recommendations for policy solutions. See an example Fact Sheet from ASTHO

Talking Points

Talking points mirror information in the issue brief and fact sheet for use in meetings and testimony. Check out the sample slide deck of information to share with newborn screening stakeholders, agency leadership, and policymakers. You can modify the slide deck itself or use it as an outline for talking points. This sample slide deck of talking points highlights the importance of newborn screening timeliness, state data, and considerations for the implementation process to expand operations and services. 

Family Stories

Family stories put a face to the need for the policy change. A family story about the policy you are trying to change provides perspective and gives it a personal connection for policymakers especially when policy barriers include technical language or minutiae. A family story can help make the connection to how changing the policy will help impact them directly.

Newborn Screening Program Stories

These stories illustrate how the program works and impacts a family. This could feature a staff member or component of the NBS system (lab, follow up, birthing facilities, etc.), even the history of how newborn screening developed in the state. This helps put a face to a system that is complex and not easily visible to policymakers. By telling a story about the newborn screening system and its impact on newborns and families, policymakers can see how addressing barriers will improve the system for all babies born in the state. See ASTHO's state stories for Arizona, Kentucky, and New Jersey

Social Media

Social media is an effective way to reach policymakers, advocates, and others with broad outreach and impact. Using social media is an excellent way to deliver personal narratives (i.e. family and NBS program stories) to multiple parties to influence change. Online outreach can be an inexpensive and effective method for broad outreach and impact.

See APHL's Media Toolkit or Social Media Guide for tips on how to effectively communicate with policymakers and advocates via social media.