229526 Key health communication strategies for reaching underserved, cross-cultural, or basic-literacy audiences

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Traci Augustosky Lopez, MAIS, MS , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Many in public health (epidemiologists, interns, project officers, program managers) engage in some degree of health communications, whether formally trained in the field or not. Furthermore, as state budgets and funding sources tighten, more and more public health practitioners in understaffed offices are tasked with a wide scope of duties, including health communications, that may go beyond their areas of expertise and experience. Growing interest in the arenas of health disparities, inequities, and social justice further amplifies the need for functional knowledge of more than the basic tenets of good communication. The ability to implement key health communication strategies that effectively reach target audiences such as underserved, cross-cultural, and basic-literacy populations is an essential skill for any public health professional.

This poster presentation offers a visual display of key health communication strategies in three specific areas: writing for the web, writing for print, and communicating verbal messages. Furthermore, the research- and evidence-based strategies are specifically tailored for reaching underserved, cross-cultural, and basic-literacy audiences. The poster also offers key strategies for composing “plain language” messages across all three communication channels (i.e., web, print, verbal). An 8.5" x 11" version of the poster will be distributed as a handout during the poster session so that attendees will have a guide sheet for future reference.

The intent of the poster presentation is to provide practical guidance that attendees can implement immediately and to provide recommended resources for those interested in further study of health communications to disparate audiences.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe two key “writing for the web” strategies to effectively reach underserved, cross-cultural, or basic literacy audiences. 2. Describe two key “writing for print” strategies to effectively reach underserved, cross-cultural, or basic literacy audiences. 3. Describe two key strategies for communicating verbal messages to underserved, cross-cultural, or basic literacy audiences. 4. Describe two key strategies for composing “plain language” messages (web, print, and verbal) that are appropriate for basic literacy target audiences.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Health Communications Specialist for the CDC; I have worked in the field of communications for 15 years; and I have extensive education in the field of communications (i.e., two masters degrees as well as doctoral coursework).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.