Health Communication Media and Strategies
Different types of messaging campaigns and formats may inadvertently exclude individuals with certain disability conditions. For example, a campaign focused on curbing obesity featuring only images of individuals without disabilities may inadvertently fail to establish a connection with members of the disability community, leading them to miss some or all of the intended impact of the messaging campaign and potential associated health benefits of the program as a whole. Additionally, if these messages are only delivered in a visual format, such as on billboards or posters, the message and some or all of its intended impact may be somewhat or completely missed by an individual with some form of visual impairment. The same message broadcast only via radio may not be heard by Deaf individuals or those who are hard of hearing. While these are relatively simple examples, they are representative of the current gap in health communication and messaging as it relates to effectively getting this beneficial content to all of those who may need and benefit from it.
The resources in this section will provide information on how to improve the inclusivity of several health media, including: live, internet, social, written, audio, and video. These resources are not intended to help create a health media campaign; rather, it is recommended that they be utilized in every stage of the communication process, including brainstorming and planning, message development and distribution, and evaluation of communication reach and message impact. The overall goal of incorporating elements of inclusion is to ensure that all individuals receive, comprehend, and connect with health messaging campaigns, and that this connection and understanding motivates them towards positive health actions and outcomes.
One key issue to bear in mind when utilizing these resources is that there is no single, universal approach to ensuring that health communications are inclusive. Employing one strategy repeatedly due to a single success will not work from one individual or group of individuals with a disability or disabilities to another. The best way to ensure a message reaches all intended targets will likely require the utilization of a combination of communication media and strategies; these resources provide multiple strategies to ensure that all individuals are included in and effectively reached by health messaging campaigns.