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Speaking of Health: Assessing Health Communication Strategies for Diverse Populations
gram gradually targeted new and expanded audiences, such as African-Americans, women, and specific age and income groups, among others (Roccella, 2002).
Selecting particular audiences for emphasis or recognizing that the audience for a campaign is heterogeneous is a first step. However, having recognized that heterogeneity, there are many ways that a campaign can adapt to the presence of differing groups in the audience. The process of adaptation is the focus of the next section.
ADAPTATION OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGNS FOR DIVERSE AUDIENCES
A campaign is made up of many components. Each opens separate avenues for adaptation to segments of an audience. There are generally three broad approaches to adaptation.
Create a single campaign intended to affect most audiences by focusing on what is held in common across audiences. The common approach assumes that apparently heterogeneous audiences differ in some ways, but may share enough characteristics with regard to what influences their behavior, what media they can access, and what message executions will appeal to them so that a single campaign (with its lower costs) will be effective. (An example for an antitobacco campaign, much like the Truth campaign: Focus on not smoking so as to resist tobacco industry promotion of smoking; provide messages that suggest a multiethnic, united youth movement fighting against industry manipulation; use mainstream television channels and programs watched to some extent by most youth; use multiethnic actors and language broadly used by youth in all advertising.)
Create a common campaign with regard to behavioral targets and essential messages, but adapt it for different audiences by varying the primary diffusion channels and specific executions of messages. (For the antitobacco campaign, purchase extra exposures in media more heavily used by African-American or Hispanic