Home » Communication Guideline » Communication Planning and Development » Combining Communication Tools – examples

Combining Communication Tools – examples

Inspiration by example

Using any one communication tools in a strategic and well planned manner can create a desired change or effect in your target audience. However, using a combination of tools often should be considered also as any single tool might not produce the desired result by itself.In this section we describe how individual tools might work together in two different scenarios and at various stages of the communication process, also corresponding to the continuously evolving relation with the target audience.

Why use multiple tools?
Even without considering the challenge of different levels of health literacy the basic concept of self care might be thought of and percieved quite differently by the target audience. Therefore a strategic approach and combination of different communication tools might be worth considering to achieve the necessary trust by the target audience to also affect actual behaviour and then finally the intended result.

This is not neccessarily the same as just using multiple media at the same time. This is rather a strategic approach to use various strengths of various media in supporting a growing culture of self care. Getting people to start engaging in self care should only be seen as a starting point for an ongoing effort – just as promotion of good traffic safety never really ends.

Two scenarios
As mentioned, this section describes two realistic combinations of communication tools. The idea is to visualize the qualities and potentials of combining individual communication tools and thus inspire you to consider using multiple ways of communicating to reach your objectives.The end goal will still be to achieve either the specific desired act of self care – or help further the full transition of the non-self caring towards at least appreciation of self care or indeed actual self caring.

In this section is therefore described scenarios of communication towards promoting self care

1. A “post-hospitalization”-scenario; initially of course individual-focused, from the day the patient leaves the hospital to the adaption of self care.

2. A “group of former patients”-scenario; a scenario that initially at least has to engage larger groups of citizens to create either attention, interest, desire and finally to adopt self care.

We can also recommend you to look at our catalogue of cases from across Europe where a varied combination of communication tools and channels have been used to promote self care.

1
“Post-hospitalization”-scenario

Discharged patients are often especially vulnerable to or worried about some of the five minor conditions considered in these guidelines. A range of communication tools can be used to promote good self-care in short and longer term.

  1. Posters in waiting room areas at hospital
  2. Postcare handouts/Leaflets
  3. Invitation to webbased newsletters/webgroups
  4. Follow-up newsletters
  5. General, continuous information about self caring tips and practices in national, regional and local newspapers highlighting the individual minor conditions and the idea of self care in general.
  6. Invitation by newsletters, posters and websites to engage in questionnaires, minor competitions, surveys etc. – both to gather knowledge and remind the former patient
  7. Posters and leaflets in waiting rooms at the GP
  8. Potential invitation (with opt-out) to focus groups to improve communication (strenghtening the individuals potential adherence to self declared values and beliefs) and later to communicate these results to improve communication to others users, and improve identification for new “former patients” to the concept of self care.
  9. Direct mail letters with information towards pharmacists to improve their awareness/knowledge about self care to enable them to engage customers (former patient) about the benefits of self care
  10. Posters at pharmacies – a low-level invitation to discuss self care
  11. PR-efforts to promote the benefits of self care – and the challenges to adopt new habits – in public media (magazines/radio/tv)

 

2
“Group of former patients”-scenario
Former patients with the same diagnosis often share the same health issues and concerns. Therefore they tend to also be interested in information regarding their former diagnosis and information related to this – and they will often also have relatives with a positive attitude towards ensuring good self-care and thus supporting the communication effort.

  1. Efforts to promote the benefits of self care – and the challenges to adopt new habit in public media (magazines/radio/tv)
  2. General, continuous information about self caring tips and practices in national, regional and local newspapers highlighting the individual minor conditions and the idea of self care in general.
  3. Public invitations (e.g. by newsletters, posters and websites) to engage in questionnaires, minor competitions, surveys etc. – both to gather knowledge and remind the former patient
  4. Posters and leaflets in waiting rooms at the GP
  5. Postcards with invitations to webbased newsletters/webgroups
  6. Postcards with invitations to peer-to-peer driven support groups
  7. Follow-up newsletters (with opt-out)
  8. Mail invitations (with opt-out) to participate in surveys, competitions
  9. Direct mail letters with information towards pharmacists to improve their awareness/knowledge about self care to enable them to engage customers (former patients) about the benefits of self care
  10. Posters at pharmacies – a low-level invitation to discuss self care
  11. PR-efforts to promote the benefits of self care – and the challenges to adopt new habits – in public media (magazines/radio/tv)

 

As is quite obvious the two scenarios use some of the same tools to achieve some of the same effects. This is quite natural, as the end result (increase in self care) and the target group (former patients) are similar.

Examples across Europe

In the catalogue here the guidelines mention specific communication tools and tools used in combination – building large, multi-tool/multic-channel communication are not neccessary for communication to be successful, but are merely mentioned to inspire you to consider different options.