When the Message is urgent, Make Sure Everyone Receives it.
How did you get your start in inclusive community outreach and working with community outreach data?
In my previous position, I worked for a healthcare company where I was responsible for the statewide outreach to Latino communities and patients. I quickly realized that the
organization’s communication with the target group was not as effective as it could be. I also recognized the need for more comprehensive demographic data. We needed to better understand the geographic distribution of the target population in order to establish relationships with organizations operating in those areas.
Ultimately, my motivation for engaging in inclusive community outreach and leveraging
outreach data was driven by the urgent need to reach historically underserved communities where the consequences of ineffective communication impact health and health outcomes, even a matter of life or death in some cases.
Can you share a story about success and impact using a data-driven approach?
In 2020, CST received a contract from a major medical research center to help them educate and bring awareness about a clinical trial to demographic groups most affected by COVID-19.
Since there was no historical data on COVID-19, our team added several data points to the process. Many of the state’s health departments were not coding COVID-19 cases in real-time, and demographic data was not included in the data in some cases. We added key data points to our market insights including cases of influenza from prior years to determine locations where people were most exposed to the flu virus. Our team researched quantitative demographic data, including race, ethnicity, and household income to locate areas with large populations of
Based on our research, education and communication materials were created for the most impacted communities. We prepared all materials in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and English languages. We also partnered with community-based organizations that had a strong understanding of the cultures and the communities they served, providing valuable insights into the unique needs and concerns of the community. As a result, 42% of the participants in the COVID clinical trial were from minority or underrepresented populations, which exceeded the goal for the trial.
What challenges have you faced when trying to make your outreach initiatives data-driven? Please provide the solution(s) used to solve these challenges.
One of the challenges I have encountered in making community outreach initiatives data-driven is obtaining accurate and up-to-date data. Data collection is a time-consuming process, and there may be gaps or inaccuracies in the data that can compromise the validity of the analysis.
To address this issue, we turn to community partners in the location we are researching. We reach out to get on-the-ground, first-hand information from nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, local influencers, and media partners. This allows us to paint a more complete and clearer picture of what we need to do.
Stay tuned for Part II of “Data Drives Inclusive Community Outreach” where Pilar will discuss how to use data to move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach.