Yes It’s Clear… But Is It Effective? Why It’s Important to Get Input and Feedback from Your Intended Audience

Janet Ohene-Frempong, MS

Janet Ohene-Frempong, MS

Janet Ohene-Frempong emphasized that clarity and comprehension are necessary, but they may not be sufficient. If information lacks consumer appeal, readers may ignore it, reject it, and not use it. The only way to make sure materials are effective is to get input from the intended audience, she said. “It’s about how effectively we communicate, and how well people can navigate the information.”

In effective materials, she said, information:

  • Is easy to find
  • Looks easy to read
  • Is easy to read
  • Is easy to understand
  • Seems easy to relate to

To make information easy to relate to, she advised, check with the intended audience before you start a project. “Everybody’s got a story, if we’re willing to ask a good question and listen.”

Find out if the information is:

  • Personally relevant
  • Acceptable and non-offensive
  • Believable
  • Persuasive, convincing
  • Practical and easy to respond to

Listen to what people have to say about their beliefs, hopes and concerns. Then use the information you gather. Acknowledge and address their points of view in the information you provide, she said. “You want to get a sense of who you’re writing for, or producing a video for, and respond appropriately, with compassion,” she said.

Ohene-Frempong gave examples of how to make materials more effective and explained how to plan a writing project.  She also spoke about how much health literacy means to her and the deep impact it can have as “people’s health, and sometimes people’s lives, depend on it.”