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Speaking of Health: Assessing Health Communication Strategies for Diverse Populations
youth; develop ad executions that feature actors of those backgrounds, and use language particularly recognized in those communities.)
Create largely distinct campaigns for different subgroups, varying the behavioral focus, the essential message strategies, the channel choices, and the message executions. These campaigns make the opposite assumption from the first type—that groups are so heterogeneous that if they are to be affected by a campaign, it has to be adapted closely to their unique characteristics. (For the antitobacco campaign: If it were true that resistance to authority appeals to 14- to 16-year-old teens, and reluctance to violate parental expectations appeals to those of age 11 to 13, create distinct campaigns for the two groups with different message strategies focusing on resisting manipulation and avoiding parental disappointment, purchase media time on programs particularly appealing to each group, and use different actors and settings for the advertisements.)
Specific campaigns may not fit precisely within one of these categories. If they do fit in one of them early on, they may move from one category to another as they evolve. There is no a priori assumption that following one of these approaches is better than another. It is logical to assume that per person reached, campaigns in the first category are the least expensive, campaigns in the last category have the potential to be most effective. If there is a common theme that is influential for a wide spectrum of audiences and if funds are limited, it will be quite attractive to work on a common campaign. If audiences are much more distinct and resources are plentiful, discrete campaigns make sense. The decision on how to adapt should be made in the context of available resources, behavioral focus, and the degree of actual heterogeneity with regard to influences on behavior, access to channels, and projected responsiveness to different message executions.
All three of these models contrast with tailored communication programs that are adapted to reach individuals rather than groups. To tailor a message, a sample of the members of the in-