Reaching Latinos Online with Health Messaging

The theme of #LATISM15 (Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media) this year is “Moving Latinos to Drive the Innovation Economy.” The Vanguard digital team attended this afternoon’s “Digital Innovations in Health Communications” session to see how Latinos are using digital media in innovative ways to communicate important health messages across the country. Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Carlos Valenzuela from Salud America! shared that he is reaching Latinos who speak English and Spanish by using Periscope to communicate health messages.
  • Eme Crawford from Tell Them talked about taking “baby steps” to get audiences to a larger request or goal, like signing a petition.
  • Clarissa Garcia from the American Heart Association noted that a commitment to diversity at an organizational level will help ensure adequate resources are allocated to reaching diverse audiences online.
  • Elena Chávez from Consumer Reports discussed the importance of adapting content for Latino audiences — not just translating it.
  • David Castillo from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) talked about a recent texting campaign he ran to encourage Latinos to get tested for prediabetes.

The big takeaway for all health messaging is to know your audience. Latino audiences are not identical, so it is important to understand differences in culture and language to effectively reach them. For example, tweets only in Spanish may alienate English-speaking Latinos and vice versa.

Thanks to the #LATISM15 organizers for a great conference! Check back to our blog tomorrow for a recap of Friday’s sessions.