Key Takeaways

  • First impressions are important! Customizing marketing materials for specific American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities is critical for ensuring programs are relatable and interesting to participants.

  • Every community may value different types of health information and messaging, be creative in how opportunities are showcased.

  • Organizations in various communities have provided examples of marketing materials for inspiration.

Evidence-based health prevention programs focus on a variety of health issues, like managing chronic conditions, increasing physical activity, or preventing falls, and are available to be implemented in communities across the country through support by state and federal funding. However, wellness means different things to different communities.

The ways that programs are marketed in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities can impact whether elders are interested in signing up. Try innovative strategies to customize marketing material and ensure Indigenous elders can relate to health promotion program opportunities. You can also check out additional resources including, Successful Strategies & Lessons Learned from Implementing Evidence- Based Programs in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Communities

How to customize evidence-based program marketing materials to ensure they are relatable and interesting to participants

  1. Use a relatable program name: We all sign up for classes and events that look interesting and relevant to our identity, culture, and needs. National names for evidence-based programs may not be culturally relatable. Changes to the program name make a big difference. For example, the "Chronic Disease Self-Management Program" may not resonate with elders, but "Wisdom Warrors" may catch their eye.
  2. Include images reflective of the community that will be participating: Similar to finding a name that resonates for local elders, be sure to include images that are relatable. This could include photos from local events or past programs (with consent) or tribal designs that reflect local culture.
  3. Know your audience: As you're developing marketing materials, reach out to elders in your community to understand what they're looking for. Some participants may be interested in knowing about the research behind programs, while others may not. Elders may be looking specifically for information on health eating or physical activity. Marketing materials can highlight the aspects of programs that are most appealing.
  4. Acknowledge the role of colonialism in causing health disparities: Many health promotion programs are addressing health issues, like diabetes, that disproportionately impact Indigenous communities due to generations of oppression. Replacement of traditional foods with processed options, removal from ancestral lands, and disconnection from familial education about food, health, and spirituality has caused detrimental outcomes. Elders have the right to health education and resources to protect themselves and their families. Participants in evidence-based programs can discuss these difficult issues and create goals related to food sovereignty or traditional activities.
  5. Promote programs as fun and competitive: Evidence-based health promotion programs include a variety of activities like group conversations, brainstorming, physical activity, meditation, problem solving and more. While elders may think that the program looks like a return to their school days, the programs are engaging and conversations are unique to each group of participants. Some organizations have even introduced ongoing health promotion gatherings, like "Wisdom Warriors," where participants can compare which health activities they have completed.
  6. Encourage participants to share with others: Consider using the “each one, reach one” strategy. Ask each participant to reach out to a family member or friend to join the program or participate in the future. The best marketing comes from a trusted friend who can share their experience and explain why the program was helpful to them.
  7. Reach people through a variety of outreach methods: Elders receive their news and connect with the community in a variety of ways. Find them where they already are through mailed letters, social media, radio announcements, flyers, e-mails, and announcements at public events. Digital storytelling, a method of capturing the tradition of storytelling in digital media, such as audio podcasts, image slide shows, and videos, can also be a great strategy.

Sample marketing materials from American Indian/Alaska Native communities

health education flyers

Diabetes Self-Management Education or Diabetes Prevention Program
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
Lake County Tribal Health Center's Diabetes Prevention Story 'Defeating Diabetes One Person at a Time'  One Page Flyer (PDF)
Family Diabetes Prevention Program One Page Flyer (PDF)
Diabetes Exercise Packet Multi-Page Print Out (PDF)
Public Health Impact Diabetes Wellness Programs One Page Flyer (PDF)
Public Health & Outreach Department Brochure (PDF; printer-ready)
Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center Diabetes on the CTUIR Brochure (PDF)
Chronic Disease Self-Management Education
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
Lake County Tribal Health Center Diabetes on the CTUIR Brochure (PDF)
Northwest Regional Council Wisdom Warriors  Preventive Health for Native American Elders Handout (PDF)
Falls Prevention
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
Inter Tribal Council of Arizona  6 Steps to Prevent a Fall Flyer (PDF)
Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center Elder Fall Prevention for Native Americans Flyer (PDF)
Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Tribal Members Flyer (PDF)
Cancer Screening and Prevention
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center Healthy Ways for Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Brochure (PDF)
Keep Our Heritage Alive, Early Detection Can Save Lives Flyer (PDF)
Colorectal Health, Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Our Community Poster (PDF)
Nutrition Education
Organization Sample Marketing Material
California Tribal Epidemiology Center  Video

Sample Marketing Materials from Native Hawaiian Communities

Diabetes Self-Management Education
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i   Diabetes Self-Management Program Flyer (PDF)
Chronic Disease Self-Management Education
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
State of Hawai'i Better Choices Better Health Toolkit One Page Flyer (PDF)
Hawaii Healthy Aging Partnership Testimonial Booklet (PDF)
Better Choices Better Health - Ke Ola Pono One Page Flyer (PDF)
Physical Activity
Organization Sample Marketing Material Download
State of Hawai'i  Enhance Fitness Two Page Flyer (PDF)

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90CSSG0048  and 90FPSG0051 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.