“How do we reach everyone who needs to know about end-of-life planning?” “Where do I even start? “ – These are questions I often get asked when working with community groups around the country. Unfortunately there’s no simple answer or one-size-fits-all approach.
I often recommend to groups and individuals to start by following the interest and enthusiasm by teaming up with other partners in the region to provide educational opportunities for the general public.
These could be book groups, senior center programs and film screenings with likeminded topics or professionals in financial planning, estate attorneys, health providers, or HR leaders who work in the field and see the need for end-of-life discussions. These are great places to start to learn more about the interest and demographics in your area.
Consider the diversity of your region; language, age, race, religion, culture, sexual or gender orientation andsocioeconomic status. Take a look at the work you’ve done, or the plans you’ve made, and reflect on whether this diversity is well represented.
Do you notice a particular demographic of your community missing? Here are a few examples of new target audiences some of The Conversation Project’s community partners identified after reevaluating the demographics of their regions:
- Homeless population
- LGBT population
- Non-English speaking populations
- People with mental health or memory conditions
- Young adults
By tuning into the culture of your region you’ll learn how to “translate” this content into a message that resonates locally. As one community group in Ohio told us, “don’t worry, we’ll ‘Akronize’ The Conversation Project for you” – that’s exactly what we recommend!
On this month’s free Conversation Project Community Call (Feb 17th at 3 pm ET) we’ll hear from The Community Partnership for Compassionate Care, a regional coalition of the North Carolina Partnership for Compassionate Care. This group has done incredible work Piedmont Triad region of NC and has specifically worked to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking patients in their area – hosting focus groups, creating video content and translations of advance directives and health care agent forms. They’ve tailored a universal message into something specific for a key population and target audience.
Join us next week to learn from our partners in North Carolina, share your own experiences or challenges, and hear from others around the country as we all work to reach everyone who needs to know about this important topic.