Communications Toolkit

Communicating with diverse communities during COVID

The Disparities in COVID Response Task Force has created a communications toolkit for the COVID-19 crisis that identifies resources and methods from institutions and community-based organizations to inform individuals from diverse communities of testing and vaccination opportunities. The toolkit builds on existing Minnesota Department of Health communications resources.

Download Crisis Toolkit PDF

Keep messaging
 

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One page, 90 sec max

target

2-3 key points, no typos, accurate translation

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Local cultural leaders, values driven, relevant

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Culturally appropriate art forms: song, dance, poetry, art

Considerations
 

Questions to ask
 

Who is your target audience? Who are the influencers, trusted sources, and gateway providers for that community?

What message do you want to share? How does it connect with the cultural values and beliefs of the community you want to reach?

Where does the target audience get information? Which mediums are best suited to reaching this community? Do different groups within the population have different sources? Consider age, gender, religion, occupation, and hobbies.

What timing of messaging is most appropriate and effective? What is the appropriate timeframe for creation, feedback, and dispersal?

How will you implement this communication campaign? What needs to be in place for it to be successful? Who do you need at the table? How to communicate and coordinate efforts effectively? What are potential costs and funding?

  • Local public health departments
  • State Emergency Operations Center
  • Community partners and leaders
  • Clinics/health care systems
  • Community based organizations
  • Religious institutions, schools, restaurants, community gathering locations
  • Testing event facilitators 

Implementation Strategies
 

 
Communication Strategies to Overcome Barriers

  1. Are there barriers to reaching specific populations?
  2. Specify what barriers: cultural, linguistic, logistic
  3. Determine why those barriers exist
  4. Select appropriate messaging strategies and identify who will deliver the message

Barrier to Engagement

Communication Strategy

Lack of trust

Partnership with trust liaisons/opinion leaders

Stigma

Integrating testing to existing services and using de-stigmatizing language

Linguistic and cultural barriers

Ensure linguistic and cultural integrity by partnering with community experts

Different Explanatory Models Culturally Relevant Community Education and Messaging
Fear of Impacts of Positive Test Integrated Support Services around income, housing, employment, etc.


Adapted from: Ellis, B. H., Abdi, S. M., & Winer, J. P. (2020). Mental health practice with immigrant and refugee youth: A socioecological framework. American Psychological Association.


Example of Targeted Messaging (Somali): 

Population

Barriers

Message

Medium

Messenger

Somali-Everyone

Lack of Trust

Different Explanatory

Models

Religious sermon

Mosques

Telephone rooms

WhatsApp

TV/Online

Religious leaders

Somali speaking culturally connected Elders

Cultural

Linguistic

Gabay/Buranbur

Spoken Word, songs

 

WhatsApp/TV

Online

Poets/Artists

Somali, young social media users

 

Cultural

Stigma

Diverse depending on messenger

Snapchat

TikTok, Youtube

Instagram

Social Media Influencers

Somali-Everyone

Stigma

Linguistic

Infographic, emojis, culturally

relevant images

Mosques

ECBOs,etc

Shopping Centers,

Schools

Community leaders/institutions