Characteristics and preferences of the audience
To decide the kind of appeal you should use in health education, always take into account the characteristics of the audience. For example, some communities may be influenced by positive appeals, others may be influenced by emotional appeals. It helps to prepare a message that is tailored to the need of your audience.
All health education messages should be culturally sensitive, and consider the comprehension level of the audience. For example, locally offensive words should not be used. Technical words should also not be used. Using complicated medical terms will not be understood by the people you are trying to reach. For example, if you tell people 'Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes TB', they may not understand what you are telling them.
Which of the following should you avoid when developing your messages?
- Local terms which people understand
- Technical words
- Locally offensive words
- Complicated medical terms
- Simple accessible terms.
Your terms need to be local and simple. Avoid medical and technical terms, and certainly avoid any words which might give offence to your audience. Choose words suited to the age of the audience (Figure 15.3).