Week 5: Communications, Marketing & Public Relations

Week 5: Audiences and Communities

One of the key steps in the health communication and social marketing process is identifying the population segments that can benefit from a specific health [service]. The more you know about your primary segment, the better you can reach them with messages, activities and policies.

—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012

As a health care administrator, you will likely engage in communication with different audiences. These audiences may include the patients or clients served by your agency, community leaders, physicians or medical staff, as well as non-medical employees/staff within your agency. Effectively understanding your intended audience influences the approaches you will take to engage in health communication. In developing a health services marketing plan, health care administrators need to consider those segments of the intended audience who will be exposed to the intended message as well as identifying those segments of the intended audience who are most likely to be most receptive to the message delivered.

This week, you explore health care administrator strategies for engaging in communications with different audiences. You analyze populations served by an agency’s health services marketing plan and examine strategies that health care administrators might implement to overcome barriers in the promotion of this marketing plan.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Analyze health care administrator strategies for communicating with different audiences

· Analyze population served by health services marketing plan

· Evaluate barriers to promoting health services marketing

· Analyze strategies to overcome barriers in promoting health services marketing plan

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings:

· Hillestad, S. G., & Berkowitz, E. N. (2012). Health care market strategy: From planning to action (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Chapter 3, “The Challenges of a Competitive Marketplace” (pp. 57-82).

· Parker, J. C., & Thorson, E. (Eds.). (2009). Health communication in the new media landscape. New York, NY: Springer. Chapter 3, “Communication Consumer involvement in Health care” (pp. 41-54)

Chapter 6, “Enhancing Consumer Involvement in Health Care” (pp. 119–143)

· Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014). Effective health care program stakeholder guide 2014 (AHRQ Publication No. 14-EHC010-EF). Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/stakeholderguide/stakeholdr.pdf

· Heaney, C. A., & Israel, B. A. (2008). Social networks and social support. In K. Glanz, B. K. Rimer, & K. Viswanath (Eds.), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed., pp. 189–210). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

· Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice, 4th Edition by Glanz, K.; Rimer, B.; Viswanath, K. Copyright 2008 by John Wiley & Sons – Books. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.

· Lillrank, P., Groop, P. J., & Malmström, T. J. (2010). Demand and supply-based operating modes – A framework for analyzing health care service production. Milbank Quarterly, 88(4), 595–615.

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

· McAlister, A. L., Perry, C. L., & Parcel, G. S. (2008). How individuals, environments, and health behaviors interact. In K. Glanz, B. K. Rimer, & K. Viswanath (Eds.), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed., pp. 169–188). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

· Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice, 4th Edition by Glanz, K.; Rimer, B.; Viswanath, K. Copyright 2008 by John Wiley & Sons – Books. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.

· Mattson, M., & Basu, A. (2010). The message development tool: A case for effective operationalization of messaging in social marketing practice. Health Marketing Quarterly, 27(3), 275–290. Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

· Sidibe, S., Pack, A. P., Tolley, E. E., Ryan, E., Mackenzie, C., Bockh, E., & Githuka, G. (2014). Communicating about microbicides with women in mind: Tailoring messages to specific audiences. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 17(3 Suppl. 2), 1–8. Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

· Williams, C.–A. N., Khanfar, N. M., Harrington, C., & Loudon, D. (2011). Marketing retail health clinics: Challenges and controversies arising from a health care innovation. Health Marketing Quarterly, 28(3), 270–285. Note: Retrieved from Library databases.

Discussion Part

Discussion: Communication Strategies for Different Audiences

1. How does a health care administrator communicate with different audiences? What potential challenges might exist for health care administrators when engaged in communication with these audiences?

As mentioned previously, health care administrators engage in communication with different audiences. Not surprisingly, the approaches used to effectively communicate with a patient or client may not be as effective when communicating with a physician, other medical staff, or non-medical employees/staff. While the approaches used to communicate with these different audiences will certainly vary, clear, concise, and direct messages will contribute to the effectiveness of your communication as a health care administrator.

· For this Discussion, review strategies in the resources for this week that health administrators might use to communicate with different audiences. Reflect on what strategies you might use as a health care administrator when engaged in communication with these audiences. Then, consider how these strategies might differ when delivering the same message to different audiences.

By Day 3

· Post a brief description of health care administrator strategies for communicating with different audiences (providers, patients, and staff). Then, explain how these strategies might differ depending on the audience and why.

By Day 5

· Continue the Discussion and provide additional support or an alternative view of your colleague’s stance on communication strategies for the intended audiences. Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 5

Continue the Discussion and provide additional support or an alternative view of your colleague’s stance on communication strategies for the intended audiences. Be specific and provide examples.

Submission and Grading Information

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Week 5 Discussion Rubric

Post by day 3 and Respond by Day 5: To participate in this Discussion

Week 5 Discussion

Assignment Part:

Assignment: Engage Target Audience/Communities

1. Andre is a health care administrator for a public health agency in a densely populated urban area. His department just received funding to implement a new health services initiative for establishing prenatal care programs in low-income migrant rural communities. This program will allow individuals from these low-income migrant rural communities to come to the public health agency that Andre works for to receive free prenatal care. One of the challenges facing Andre is the realization that his target communities do not have access to traditional health care service delivery. Furthermore, these target communities are apprehensive about the free prenatal care options that Andre is promoting within his public health agency.

Andre is developing materials to distribute to his target communities at a health fair sponsored by the community liaisons in the low-income migrant rural communities that are targeted to benefit from these services.

· What considerations should Andre keep in mind to engage these communities effectively? How might Andre develop these materials to ensure that the communities fully understand and are receptive to the programs offered by his public health agency?

For this Assignment, consider how you might begin to target a population with your health services marketing plan. Also, consider potential barriers you might face in reaching these communities and how you might address them.

· Note: The completion of this Assignment will consist of the elements necessary for Component 3 of your Final Project.

The Assignment (2–5 pages)

· Explain which population will be most served by your health services marketing plan and why.

· Describe two barriers that you might face in promoting your health services marketing plan and suggest two strategies for overcoming the barriers you identified. Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 7

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Week in Review

In this Week you examined health care administrator strategies for engaging in communications with different audiences. You analyzed populations served by an agency’s health services marketing plan and explored strategies that health care administrators might implement to overcome barriers in the promotion of this marketing plan. In the next Week you will focus on health care administrator consequences for health literacy in communications. You will also consider the importance of health literacy in influencing services for health care delivery and examine the health literacy of target audiences. Additionally, you will investigate strategies health care administrators might implement to tailor health communications based on differing levels of health literacy for target audiences.

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