8.3.2  The rules for selecting channels

Having the right health message, the right audience and the right products is important, but delivering them via effective channels is another thing to consider. Select channels that are accessible and appropriate for the target audience. For example, radio messages should be scheduled for those radio stations that the target audience actually listens to and that are broadcast at times when that audience listens. Print materials should be used only for literate or semiliterate audiences who are accustomed to learning through written and visual materials.

Materials should be distributed in accessible and visible places where the target audience already goes. Remember that the different channels play different roles. It may be best to use several channels simultaneously. The integrated use of multiple channels increases the coverage, frequency and effectiveness of communication messages. The combination of these channels is often called the media mix.

Select a media mix that is within the programme’s human and financial resources and use channels that are familiar to the specific target audience. The channel must be easily available and accessible to the receiver.

  • Think of an important health issue in your own community. What channels do you think might be best to deliver health messages about this subject to members of your own community?

  • Your answer might be different depending on different factors. For example, if your plan is to change behaviour, then interpersonal channels are good: face-to-face conservations, counselling, role plays and so on. If your objective is to increase awareness, then mass media (for example radio or TV) may be good channels.

8.3.1  Types of communication channels

8.3.3  Feedback