Authenticity in public health marketing is an important aspect in becoming a trusted source of information and retaining that status. Too often agencies and organizations will tell the public what they should be doing instead of showing up and engaging with audiences. Authentically engaging with audiences is critical in creating and maintaining audience buy-in.
Organizations can save time and build trust by answering questions and concerns that people have at the onset of a program. This kind of upfront care reassures people and helps to answer questions before concerns spiral out of control. It also helps organizations understand and speak to individual experiences. Early engagement can help you find out what motivates your audience and avoid clichés to connect on a personal level.
Inauthentic Program Outcomes
Inauthentic engagement and programing can have negative consequences for your brand. The DARE program is a stunning example of ineffective and inauthentic programming. The DARE program ambassadors, consisting of uniformed police officers, lacked an authentic connection with their audience of elementary and middle school children. DARE programming also focused on the external punitive consequences of substance use. A more effective approach would be to focus on the personal and emotional consequences that children could relate to.
Authentic Program Outcomes
Authentic engagement and programing will positively impact your brand and motivate audiences. Keepin’ it REAL is a substance prevention curriculum that connects with its audience on a personal level. Keepin’ it REAL contextualizes information and provides it in multiple formats (Rural, Spanish, Multicultural) to address the unique experiences of their audiences. The program also includes real stories of adolescents and encourages collaboration to engage youth.
Authenticity in marketing is an important factor in growing and maintaining audience buy-in. Ensuring that all programming is relevant to the audience builds more real connections. Creating an authentic brand can improve the public’s perception of and trust in your organization.