Mass media is generally, a form of communication produced for the consumption of the majority at a specified time. It involves channels of communication for the produced messages to flow (Donovan, 1993). Some of the most prominent channels used include Television, internet, magazine, radio and newspaper. The usefulness of mass media in promoting health applies through its functions including shaping public relations, educating people on health issues and advocating for health policies. Advertising and promotions through the mass media seems to take the way forward for promoting health among the public (Hastings, 1994). In this paper, a review of mass media theories on the use in promoting health is of value drawing a clear picture of the available literatures and later providing some recommendations to implement in future practices of health promotion through the mass media.
Health promotion is a term refereeing to the process of enabling people to further their control their health. In this study, the concept applies through media promotion in handling health issues (Hastings, 1994).
Mass Media refers to all visual, electronic, written, printed, auto-visual media content developed to reach the public. In this study, the concept applies to all forms that apply in promoting health issues within the public (Wills, 2000).
Mass communication in this study means any form of communication that surpasses with the public.
The term message refers to any information that an individual or group expresses in the form of symbols or signs (McClelland, 1997).
Advertising is the process of promoting or expressing ideas through individual contact or with the use of mass media. In this study, the later applies as a way of health promotion (McClelland, 1997).
The term Audience segmentation in this study refers to the division of a specified population into homogenous groups with similarities in beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge to allow an enormous impact of the message passed by the media (Hastings, 1994).