Sample Message Mapping
Author: Dr. Vincent Covello
SAMPLE MESSAGE MAP – SMALLPOX (WITH KEYWORDS IN ITALICS)
Question or Concern: How contagious is smallpox?
FIGURE FIVE: SAMPLE SMALLPOX MESSAGE MAP – WITH KEYWORDS IN ITALICS
Key Message 1 Key Message 2 Key Message 3
compared to other diseases.
The slow spread of smallpox
time to find
People infected with smallpox
can be vaccinated
Supporting Information 1-1 Supporting Information 2-1 Supporting Information 3-1
People are only infectious
when the rash appears.
The time period before smallpox
symptoms appear is 10–14 days
People who have never been
vaccinated are the most
important to vaccinate.
Supporting Information 1-2 Supporting Information t 2-2 Supporting Information 3-2
Smallpox typically requires
hours of face-to-face contact.
Resources are available for
Finding people who may have
become infected with smallpox.
Adults who were vaccinated for smallpox as
children may still have some
Supporting Information 1-3 Supporting Information 2-3 Supporting Information 3-3
There are no smallpox carriers without
Finding people who have been
exposed to smallpox and
has proved successful in the past.
Adequate smallpox vaccine is on hand.
Nine Principles of Message Mapping
Limiting the number of key messages to a maximum of three using no more
than 9 seconds or 27 words to express the necessary information.
Constructing messages that can be easily understood by an adult with a 6th
to 8th grade education. This can be tested using the “readability” utility
contained in a number of word-processing programs.
Adhering to the “primacy/recency” or “first/last” principle. This principle
states that the most important messages should occupy the first and last
position in a list.
Citing third parties or sources that would be perceived as credible by the
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