In 2000–01, the American College of Preventive Medicine, Washington, conducted a study to analyze audiences and develop dissemination strategies for two guides to preventive health services: the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and the Guide to Community Preventive Services, which are produced by independent task forces created by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, respectively.
The guides target related but distinct audiences, including health plans, purchasers, consumers, clinicians, public health practitioners, policy-makers and others.
General findings from a product testing phase included:
- All audiences demand and appreciate concise information.
- Credibility is vital. Some of the most trusted and turned-to sources are those sponsored by government agencies and well-known national organizations.
- Products should be strategically targeted to the appropriate audiences.
- Appearance matters. Avoid designs that are too time-consuming to read or navigate, too crowded or too bland.
- Find the right contact people among your audiences. Too often, information never reaches the appropriate frontline health professionals who deal with the community.