Audiences and Communication Strategies
Rural community health programs may share information with a range of audiences. Communication strategies may
differ depending on the audience. Key strategies include identifying the audience and tailoring messages to the
intended audience. Developing a communication plan can help guide appropriate and effective communication
approaches. Common rural audiences include policymakers, healthcare providers, and community members.
Providing succinct and understandable messages is key when communicating with policymakers. Data and statistics
should be presented in a way that are easy to understand. To ensure relevance, programs should deliver concise
messages and communication materials. Examples include one-page summaries, memos, policy briefs, or policy
Rural programs often need to communicate with a range of healthcare providers and organizational contacts.
Healthcare organization audiences to consider include:
- Healthcare providers and staff, both internal and external to your organization
- Community health workers
- Caregiver groups
- Public health departments
- Rural health associations
- Hospital associations
Rural community health programs implemented by or in partnership with healthcare organizations should maintain
clear and open channels of communication with all staff. Programs should provide information to employees
promptly in both written and electronic format. Routine communications can be delivered via emails, staff
meetings, or other internal communications. It is also important to provide a contact person who is available to
answer questions and connect employees to additional resources, when needed.
Broader communication, such as information networks and listservs, can connect providers across different
organizations. Journal articles, newsletters, and other publications can be disseminated through these
Rural community health programs should deliver concise and clear messages to the community. Communication
materials should be understandable for people of all backgrounds and translated when necessary. Using a health
equity lens will ensure the information is accessible, understandable, and practical for all community
Community audiences to consider include:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Faith-based organizations
- Other community-based groups
Communicating with the community can happen in a variety of ways. Direct engagement with community members can
achieved through personal contact at community events, such as public meetings, local events, or community
celebrations. Public and civic group meetings provide a forum to discuss relevant issues and to present focused
For more information on communications with the public, see Health Communication Strategies in
the Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit.
Resources to Learn More
Center for Disease Control and Prevention's
Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication
This resource provides further information and resources on equitable strategies and principles for
communication to multiple audiences.
Organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention