As we mentioned in our last post we wanted to get a clearer understanding of internet and new media use among communities of color. To learn more we hosted a webinar, “Underserved Populations and New Media Use,” for over 100 of our Federal colleagues and their grantees (visit our podcast page Our other webinar speaker was Alejandro Garcia-Barbon, Senior Technical Advisor to IQ Solutions, Inc. He presented about the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
NIDA’s “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign: What is it all about?
The campaign designed their first public service announcement (PSA), “Text Message,” to reach young African American women with information about non-injection drug use and HIV. The PSA’s success led to the creation of a PSA to reach young Hispanic women. The result was “After the Party, as a means to distribute and promote their messages.
Stephen Perez, a registered nurse who works with the Latino community in San Francisco around HIV/AIDS, told us, “I encourage my clients to reflect on the impact of alcohol and drugs in their lives. This site helps to reinforce these messages. The use of new media tools, like MySpace, to further promote the campaign reaches many young Latinos where they are already spending time.”
How can I use these tools to get ready for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)?
October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. In anticipation of this important day, consider sharing the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” resources with your colleagues and friends. And check out another campaign targeted to Hispanic audiences: the Soy (I am) project, a joint venture between Univision and the Kaiser Family Foundation Soy tells the stories of individual Latinos living with HIV/AIDS; another example of using new media to start conversations, reduce stigma, and link people to important information and resources.
What are lessons learned for programs wanting to use new media tools to reach underserved communities with HIV/AIDS messages?
- Tell a story. By making the characters and their actions realistic and relevant to the lives of their target audience (young African American and Hispanic women), the NIDA campaign draws the viewers in and makes them care about the content.
- Have good content. A good story isn’t enough by itself - the information has to be accurate and link the viewer to the additional resources they need.
- Be flexible. By using a variety of formats - webisodes, radio and TV PSAs, print and online materials - including some that are effectively accessible without a broadband internet connection - and marketing them in different ways, the campaign responds to the reality of where their audience gets information and how they want to receive it.
With just one week to go, it’s also time to register your NLAAD event or find one to attend. And stay tuned next week for more on using new media to reach the Latino community and the Latino Commission on AIDS