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Rural Health Information Hub

Dissemination Methods for SDOH Programs

Rural programs addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) should focus on dissemination strategies to promote community engagement and improve chances of program success. The best methods for sharing information about programs working to address SDOH depend on the type of program, program goals, and intended audience for dissemination. Plans for dissemination should be made during the beginning stages of program development in order to ensure that the program's intended audiences are engaged from the start.

Several common methods of dissemination that rural SDOH programs use include:

  • Posters and oral presentations at conferences
  • Newspaper and print ads
  • Radio and TV ads
  • Direct (mailed) marketing
  • Webinars
  • Workshops and trainings
  • Social media
  • Sponsored events and other local events in the community
  • Personal contact and word of mouth
  • Online forums and websites
  • Referrals from within a healthcare setting

Many programs note that personal contact and word of mouth continue to be one of the best ways to share information in many rural communities. In addition, healthcare providers — for example care coordinators, nurse educators, and patient navigators — are often good resources for connecting or promoting different programs that address SDOH to their clients. Maintaining good partnerships throughout the community is also important for creating a referral base. When designing a dissemination plan, it is important to consider the best methods to be used and to note that in many rural areas, residents still may have limited broadband access. Using a mixed approach of electronic methods as well as printed and in-person sharing of resources may be beneficial in many communities.

Resources to Learn More

Implementing Social Marketing
Toolkit that describes strategies and methods for implementing a social marketing campaign to increase uptake and buy-in of programs and interventions. Lists steps for identifying potential partners and change agents, as well as how to develop a communication plan to spread the mission of a program.
Organization(s): Community Tool Box, Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas