Don't Forget Non-Traditional Channels

Donna Garland
Supervisory Health Education Specialist
Public Health Practice Program Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

One of the core principles to outreach, and we think about this when we're not in a crisis situation, is delivering the message where the people are. Getting the messages to where the message receivers will be receiving it. So we think about channels of delivery where our target audience will be listening or viewing or reading. Well, when folks are deployed and they're not taking their radio with them, they don't have a television with them; traditional media in that respect is not necessarily going to work. So in your pre-event, thinking about how am I going to deliver messages to people who may be in a gymnasium? Do I have bulk copies of my fact sheet ready to be delivered to a deployed or attachment site where these folks are going to be. Have I thought about using radio more often, if folks are moving out in vehicles or cars, radio is going to be a critical communication mechanism. And we always think of TV and we usually think of newspapers, and I think radio is underutilized. And in cases of emergency again, if people are moving out in their cars, they're going to have their radios on to a news channel trying to get any snippet of information they can, so planning that ahead of time and having a good grasp of your radio network and also your hard media deployment plan. How are you going to deliver those fact sheets, those brochures, and if you need to update material, how are you going to get those to people who may not be in their homes or may not be using their traditional communications channels or receiving the messages in a traditional way. So, go a little bit non-traditional but think about it ahead of time.