Phase 6: Communication and Dissemination


Audio File (10 minutes)

Listen to Iowa State Expert Advisor, Maggie Ferguson, and NCHPAD Project Partner, Allison Hoit Tubbs, talk about communication and dissemination activities for the Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities project.

View Transcript » pdf icon[PDF – 119 KB]

The sixth and final phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Model is Communication and Dissemination, in which you broadly promote and share the successes and lessons learned from your disability inclusive efforts.
During the Communication and Dissemination Phase, you will

  • Use traditional (e.g., print, television, and radio media; earned and paid) and non-traditional (e.g., social marketing techniques and social media platforms) methods of communication to present your results and encourage people with disabilities to take advantage of the new resources in your community.
  • Communicate findings and successes using other communication outlets, such as peer-reviewed journal articles, professional presentations, success stories, issue briefs, and white papers.

WHY is this phase important?

Woman charging her wheelchair

Sharing your project’s successes and lessons learned lends credibility to your community coalition and your project efforts. These activities can build community momentum and recognition for your work, creating a heightened sense of coalition empowerment and achievement. Communication and dissemination of your results can also add to existing best practices for creating inclusive healthy communities, helping others to learn from your experiences.

WHAT activities take place during this phase?

  1. Success Stories in Butte, MT

    Watch this videoexternal icon and learn how Butte, Montana, is disseminating information about a new inclusive park for people with disabilities

    Develop a communication plan to detail the communication and dissemination activities you plan to undertake to share your project’s successes and lessons learned. Think of this as an action plan for telling your project story. This plan will detail the types of activities you will implement, the responsible parties, the intended audience (e.g., policy makers, state or local health departments, people with disabilities), the messages you want to deliver, and the intended reach of your messages (e.g., local, state, or national).

  2. Balance the implementation of these communication and dissemination activities with the resources that you have available to implement them. For example, if you lack funding resources for paid media, think of ways to earn media by actively seeking opportunities to garner attention from media, the press, influencers, and bloggers, or opt for cost-efficient options like social marketing and messaging through one or more social media platforms.
  3. Audio File (4 minutes)

    Listen to Allison Hoit Tubbs, communications expert at NCHPAD, talk about the importance of inclusive communication.

    View Transcript » pdf icon[PDF – 102 KB]

    Make sure that you are sharing your successes and lessons learned in an inclusive and accessible way, so that people with various types of disabilities can access the messages. Examples of inclusivity are closed captions for television, video messages for those with hearing impairments, offering additional versions of the messages, and using larger and different types of fonts for people with visual impairments. You may find the National Association of County & City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) fact sheetpdf iconexternal icon on inclusive communication techniques helpful, as well as CDC’s fact sheetpdf icon on communicating with and about people with disabilities.

  4. Audio File (11 minutes)

    Listen to Iowa State Expert Advisor Maggie Ferguson and NCHPAD Project Partner Allison Hoit Tubbs, talk about social media planning and evaluation.

    View Transcript » pdf icon[PDF – 132 KB]

    Document the potential reach, engagements, and impressions of your communication and dissemination activities pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB]. This will allow you to estimate the number of people you are reaching with your messages, as well as how many people are sharing and paying attention to your messages. You can use this information to improve your messages and communication plan.

WHO in the community needs to be involved?

Bullhorm icon

You may want to hire a marketing group if resources are available, or you might have access to media or public relations expertise through state universities with communications programs or within your community coalition to help oversee the development and implementation of the communication plan. If these are not available, the community coaches will often oversee the communication and dissemination activities, or this process will be shared by various community coalition members.

How much TIME does this phase take?

Arrows circle

This phase typically does not start until you have documented outcomes for your policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes. You may choose to implement these activities concurrently as you achieve big wins, or you may wait until later in the project. Once initiated, it is recommended that these activities occur on an ongoing basis.

What does SUCCESS look like?

Man in a wheelchair by the pool

Successful communication and dissemination will include the following characteristics:

  • Developing your communication plan to detail specific activities and timeline that you plan to undertake;
  • Implementing accessible and inclusive messaging;
  • Using both traditional and non-traditional types of media; and
  • Tracking the activities, reach, engagements, and impressions of your messages to ensure message reach and effectiveness.