Is Hollywood Good for Our Health? Using Stories for More Effective Communication

Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington traveled to the Netherlands to deliver a presentation on TV health storylines June 21 at a communications workshop held at the University of Amsterdam.

Buffington’s address, “Is Hollywood Good for Our Health? Inspiring Hollywood’s Scriptwriters to Craft and Air Over 200 Compelling TV Health Storylines in 2011,” was presented as part of a workshop about using stories to make communication more entertaining and effective. The event was organized by StoryNet and the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. 

The process of “entertainization,” StoryNet researchers say, includes entertainment elements in information, education and advertising. Narratives that have the power to make people cry, laugh or keep them in suspense “are interesting for recipients [and] catch their attention. . . . That is why stories are increasingly used across a variety of communication types, such as news and education, making the information more entertaining and at the same time more effective.”

StoryNet holds regular workshops that bring together experts in media, psychology, philosophy, health communication and journalism to develop new approaches to studying the experience and effects of narratives.