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In this Issue
Materials Development Tip #6: The Power of an Image

Through our field-testing, focus groups, and needs assessment results, we are constantly reminded of the power and importance of images when developing educational materials. We have heard the target audience express the need for more images or images that show the effects of tobacco on the body.

When developing your tobacco education materials, keep in mind some of the following guidelines:

  • Limit the number of images you put on a page; too many on one page can be overwhelming.
  • Use images that are appropriate for the target audience.
  • Display images in context so your audience can relate to them.
  • Make sure images are not too abstract or difficult to understand.
  • Consider using captions to explain the images and how they relate to the materials being presented.
  • Use images that are positive, showing a behavior you want to achieve (such as not smoking) versus a negative behavior (showing a person smoking).
  • When developing tobacco educational materials, remember to consider cultural issues, norms, beliefs, values and practices of your target audience. Using specific colors, fonts, images and photos of group members conveys appropriateness for the target audience. Always present culture in a positive way.
  • Involve your target audience in the development process of your material, including your choice of images, by getting their feedback so that you will create a product that is relevant to that community.

TEAM Lab did a Google search of interesting anti-tobacco campaigns and we came across this website 10steps.sg. This site has 50 of the most creative anti-smoking advertisements. These advertisements show the power of an image and in most of the ads, the image is strong enough to sell the message. We hope that this site can illustrate the power and importance of images in the materials you develop.

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Developing Materials for the Asian American (AA) and Pacific Islander (PI) Populations

Asian American (AA) and Pacific Islander (PI) populations happen to be two of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. As of 2010, there are 17.3 million Asian Americans living in the U.S., a 46 percent increase in population in the last decade, and 1.2 million Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) living in the U.S., a 40 percent increase in population in the last decade1. It is important to note that until recently, Asian American (AA) and Pacific Islander (NHOPI) populations were aggregated on census data. As people continue to learn that AA and NHOPI groups are culturally and ethnically dis-similar many continue to group these heterogeneous groups as Asian American and Pacific Islander. And, for the purposes of comparing data sets that are aggregated in this way, it is sometimes necessary for context.

California has the largest population of Asian Americans in the U.S., and it has the second largest population of Pacific Islanders (the largest in the U.S. belonging to Hawaii with 356,000 Pacific Islanders)2. In 2010, there were 286,145 Pacific Islanders living in California, which was a 29.2 percent increase since 20003. Also in 2010, there were 5.6 million Asian Americans living in California, a 1.5 million increase in population since 20003.

Both Asian American (AA) and Pacific Islander (PI) groups have been targeted by tobacco companies as potential new users. Documented tactics included:

  1. Product placement of cigarettes and their use in movies, which has high proportions of young viewers4.
  2. Using the values and beliefs of family, education, and strong work ethic to market cigarette brands as the “American” standard, which identifies with the desire to assimilate into U.S. culture and lifestyle.
  3. Using Asian and Pacific Islander models in advertising and promotions.
  4. Sponsorships and ads in publications or events that deal with a strong Asian and Pacific Islander market such as golf, motor sports, music, film, dance, and gambling.
  5. The sales force of tobacco companies routinely visit store owners to monitor retail promotional activity, displays, and inventory of their products.
  6. Offers of promotional materials made to store owners, along with monetary incentives5.

Keep in mind, the tobacco industry sends a large percent of their exports to Asia11. Also, tobacco companies have made a concerted effort to build relationships with AA and NHOPI communities by sponsoring festivals, newspapers, and community groups11. In addition, research shows that ethnic communities have a higher density of tobacco advertising.

You might be wondering how tobacco has affected AA and PI communities? It’s been estimated that each year, since 2000, 15,000 to 20,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (aggregately) would die from a tobacco related illness7. In aggregated terms, smoking has been responsible for 27.9 per 100,000 deaths from lung cancer for AA and NHOPI men and 11.4 per 100,000 for AA and NHOPI women. The statistics and information provide a strong case for why countering tobacco influences with anti-tobacco messages and campaigns for the Asian American and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander communities are needed.

Here are some general things to keep in mind when developing educational materials for and about Asian American and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander communities’ prevention:

  1. Know your audience
    • Target specific genders because prevalence is different. For instance, smoking is more prevalent in AA and NHOPI males compared to females. Smoking rates for AA and NHOPI women have been reported to increase with age7,8.
    • The major tobacco related cause of death is lung cancer. Thus, it is important to make the information educational and informative, but not too academic.
  2. Strategize how to present the information to this population
    • Try to keep main points to a minimum; 3 to 5 points10
    • Present compelling and most important points either first or last among the material10
    • Utilize attention grabbers, pictures and images10
  3. Develop the content:
    • Organize the content in a logical manner (numerical order, chronological order, topical order)
    • Choose words carefully considering the appropriate reading level
    • Keep it simple (simple, short, and direct sentences and paragraphs are the most effective)
    • Use active voice
  4. Develop the visuals:
    • The format is the overall physical appearance of your material.
    • Think about how and where your material will be displayed (ex. clinic waiting room, malls, handouts, presentations, etc.)
    • Use graphics to grab the viewer’s attention, especially ones that resonate with different AA and PI cultures Organize the material in a way that allows for maximum visual appeal. Try not to clutter your material with images. Present one image that has a direct and simple message.
    • Position graphic elements with purpose. Having clear and precise graphics allows the material to be reinforced and improves understanding for the viewer. In addition, choose an appropriate font size and text style that the viewer can easily read.
  5. Let the message of tobacco be the main topic in the material
    • Stress the importance of an anti-tobacco lifestyle by highlighting the negative effects of tobacco.
    • Introduce warning labels by providing examples that individuals can look for, helping inform smokers about the health hazards of smoking9.
  6. Field test your materials
    • Watch our Field Testing Webisodes series. There are five webisodes that are each about 10-20 minutes in length. Topics include: setting up pretests, readability testing and suitability assessment of materials, focus groups, and intercept and individual interviews.
    • You can also find more tips and resources by visiting the Learn How section, Step 8: Testing Your Materials.
    • Interview and consult with members of the target population to see if your materials are appealing and appropriate.

Given that the Asian American. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander populations are ethnically separate; it is crucial to develop materials that are culturally and community competent for each population. Depending on which ethnic group your material is focused on, these populations have their own unique understanding of tobacco, which would be useful to take into account when developing your materials. For example, in the Hmong community, tobacco serves as a specific social function and is given as a gift during weddings6. Furthermore, materials can use cultural symbols specific to their ethnic target as metaphors or centerpieces to convey a message that will resonate with their target community. For example, bamboo represents strength, character, and longevity for Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian groups. Another way that your materials can resonate with a specific community is to promote a figurehead or key leader of that community who is speaking out on tobacco use and calling for change in the community. For example, the King of Tonga, a small island in the South Pacific, has developed health into a public campaign, focusing on the health impact of tobacco and withdrawing tobacco sponsorship from a national boat race11. Within the Asian American and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander populations, each ethnic community has its own culture and understanding on tobacco. It is important to do intensive research and collaborate with community members so that your materials are culturally sensitive and address your target community.

1 http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff06.html
2 http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff06.html
3 http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/05/california-has-second-largest-pacific-islander-population.html
4 http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/137/3/692.full.pdf+html
5 http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/11/3/201.full
6 http://www.appealforcommunities.org/media/docs/3841_CulturalCompetenceKit.pdf
7 http://www.appealforcommunities.org/media/docs/1626_AAPItobacco3-02.pdf
8 http://oralcancerfoundation.org/tobacco/demographics_tobacco.htm
9 http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0325.pdf
10 http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedfiles/Content_Binaries/Hispanic.pdf
11 http://www.appealforcommunities.org/media/docs/4184_RelevanceKit2002.pdf

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Recap Webinar: Digital Storytelling

This month we talked with an audience of 55 associates about the effective and increasingly popular medium of Digital Storytelling. This highly evolved form of information sharing, packaging your message inside a first-person narrative, and spicing it up with photos, videos, and music is one of the fastest growing ways to communicate with an audience. What seemed to capture the attention of our audience was how easy the creation of these digital stories really is. After describing how it can be as simple as recording a narrative over PowerPoint slides with images, or as complex as using a professional editing program, the idea of how accessible this effective form of information sharing is set in. We also gave listeners a list of resources that describe in detail the steps required to make their own digital story, and links to numerous tutorials on the various digital editing programs available, even free web-based programs.

Humans have communicated by narrative for centuries—this is how the human brain processes and remembers information. When organizations capture the narratives of their populations through digital storytelling workshops, or pass along their own story, they can engage in a highly memorable and tangible discussion. In a sense, organizations can create these stories as a road map for others, instead of directly stating facts or figures, they humanize their messages through the ancient art of storytelling. As we continue to adapt to an increasingly digital world, storytelling has gained new elements such as music, visual presentation, and broad publishing potential. Digital storytelling capitalizes on these advancements and furthers our ability to reach the populations we work with in the most effective way.

If you are interested in reading the theory behind it and the research supporting Digital Storytelling take a look at our literature review. And if you are interested in learning about how Digital Stories might work for you and your organization check out the full webinar.

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June 2012: TEAM Lab Interns Spotlight

Sharon Favazza
Sharon Favazza
Sharon Favazza, PhD Practicum Student
What a privilege to serve as an intern with TEAM Lab! As a doctoral student, I assisted TEAM Lab's program by collecting and analyzing research data and co-conducting a focus group. TEAM Lab empowered me to work independently, but in a collaborative manner. The highlight of my semester was writing two qualitative research reports. This was fun! Partnering with a professional research team on initiatives that have the potential to affect the health of most Americans was an honor! Do you want an excellent internship in preventative medicine? Look no further than TEAM Lab.

Charlene Nguyen, 3rd year
My inspiration for pursuing a degree in public health, particularly in health communication and health literacy among ethnic minorities comes in part from being a native of the Los Angeles area and from my passion for improving and serving the health needs of the community. As a student intern at TEAM Lab, I was able to see firsthand and intensively take part in the methods and analyses that go into developing actual tobacco educational materials. Initially, I learned that it serves as an agency for other groups to send their educational materials to for development as well as its own material designer. The goal of TEAM Lab is to prepare effective tobacco educational materials, to be released to the public of the whole state of California, that communicate a clear message to a target audience. This is some important stuff here!

Charlene Nguyen
Charlene Nguyen

Working closely with Christine Ricohermoso, MPH, TEAM Lab's Material Development Coordinator, I learned about the criteria and tools that TEAM Lab implements to evaluate and improve the materials they receive. I conducted literature searches to cite the facts presented in the material, and researched recent tobacco dangers such as thirdhand smoke. Some of the important criteria that the materials are evaluated for are easy literacy of the text, cultural sensitivity and relevance, and successful presentation of colors and illustrations. Not only did I help look over and edit a material, I also got to witness and record how these materials are in practice. One of the methods that I have learned to do and have practiced frequently is the field testing of this semester’s materials, which include fact cards about secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing, environmental effects of cigarettes, and alternative tobacco products. I conducted many intercept interviews around the community, who were random subjects that I chose in areas like Union Station and coffee shops where people are waiting or not occupied with things. Through these interviews, I learned what people’s first impressions were of a piece, how they interpret its message, and I asked for their feedback on the material. I have grown to see the helpfulness and impact field testing has on improving these educational materials, and how the public responds to tobacco educational materials. Although I encountered a few subjects on certain materials that questioned the facts presented and expressed skepticism about the use of these materials in a public setting, most were aware of the dangers of tobacco use and understood the message behind the materials.

Sam Sagartz
Sam Sagartz
The work that I have been doing here under the guidance of the dedicated and creative staff has been such a great learning and practical experience for me about the efforts and procedures that go into effective health communication. As I am on the track of pursuing a career in health, my time here in TEAM Lab has given me a deeper understanding of how the public health sector is essential to improving the health behaviors of diverse and underserved communities.

Sam Sagartz, 1st year
For the last few months I have been working with TEAM Lab as an undergraduate assistant. My responsibilities mainly consist of editing and writing materials and assisting with day-to-day tasks such as building bibliographies, though occasionally I get the opportunity to field test the materials. Although at times the work can be a bit of a grind, I am enjoying my experience working with the Lab very much. I appreciate the opportunity to learn every week and challenge and cultivate certain aspects of myself such as my creativity, writing ability, and, field testing my interpersonal skills. It is exciting getting to constantly work on new materials attempt to tailor them to specific audiences and as a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention major, I know my work with TEAM Lab will help me in my educational and professional career.

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Call for MRC Members

TEAM Lab is seeking individuals (with experience working with Asian American, Pacific Islander or Native American/American Indian communities in tobacco control) to apply to become a member of the Materials Review Committee. This committee will review newly developed tobacco education materials from tobacco control projects throughout the State of California. We will ask you to make recommendations and suggestions about which tobacco education materials should be made available for widespread distribution. If you have any questions, please e-mail the project manager, Darrah Kuratani at darrah.kuratani@usc.edu or call (626) 457-6613. For more information, please review the following information about Membership Criteria and the Application:

The following is a description of the expectations, the MRC process:

TEAM Lab's expectations of the MRC members include: 1) participating in an orientation webinar or tutorial, 2) completing a Material Review Score Card training (electronic tool used to review and score each material), 3) meeting 2-3 times annually, either in-person or via webinar, to discuss and vote on the materials that are being considered for inclusion in the TECC catalog, and 4) reviewing materials and providing your valuable tobacco expertise.

Here is a quick overview of the MRC process:

  1. TEAM Lab either receives a material from the field or develops a material
  2. Materials are tested with their respective target audiences
  3. The MRC committee is given 2-3 weeks to review the material using an electronic score card.
  4. Then, at the MRC review meeting, TEAM Lab facilitates a 2-5 hour discussion (depending on how many materials are being reviewed), which includes a presentation on: a) old/new materials, b) field testing results, c) tabulated MRC scores. Then discussion and a vote on whether or not to recommend for inclusion in the TECC catalog.
  5. From this point, the materials are developed based on MRC recommendations and field tested.
  6. The materials are presented to CTCP for final review and inclusion in the TECC catalog.
If you are interested in applying please contact TEAM Lab project manager: Darrah Kuratani at darrah.kuratani@usc.edu or email TEAM Lab at teamlab@usc.edu.

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Calling All Tobacco Education Materials

Did you create tobacco education materials for your project? Have you submitted them to TEAM Lab to be considered for inclusion in the TECC catalog? If you haven't, please send us your material so it can be reviewed for statewide distribution and also become part of the TECC Resource Library.

Please visit the Send Us section of our website for more information regarding the material submission process. Need Help Developing an Education Material?

If you are still in the process of developing tobacco educational materials, don't forget TEAM Lab can help. We can team with you to brainstorm ideas, reduce the literacy level, increase the readability of your material, and also provide general feedback/suggestions on any material. If you need help or have questions, please contact us at teamlab@usc.edu or call us at: (323) 442-8214.

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USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research
2001 N. Soto Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90033

URL: teamlab.usc.edu
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E-mail: teamlab@usc.edu
Phone: (323) 442-8214
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Need help developing educational materials? Please e-mail us at teamlab@usc.edu