Once the target audience(s) is/are identified, effective messaging should perform 4 interrelated tasks:
- Identify the science most relevant to the decisions that people face
- Understand what people already know
- Fill the critical gaps between what people know and need to know
- Evaluate the adequacy of those communications
A clinical audience may want to better understand the nuances of specific treatments with diverse groups, while a general audience may want to better understand the overall risk-benefit.
Methods to increase relevancy of scientific findings include the tailoring of language, illustrations, and anecdotes:
- Use analogies and visuals. Consider the different ways people consume information.
- Address the question, “What’s in it for me?” to keep your audience interested.
- Avoid jargon.
The “elevator speech” is an effective approach to thinking about how to create a positive and memorable impression in a short period of time. It is also a valuable exercise for researchers to ensure effective communications about RWE. When crafting communications about RWE, an author should be able to answer several questions clearly and concisely:
- What is the topic or focus of the research?
- What is the core problem, issue, or question being asked or addressed in the research? This can be a compelling introduction to the research.
- How is the work uniquely addressing this problem, issue, or question?
- Why is the problem interesting and important? In other words, “So what?”
- Finally, what is the goal or aim of the communication? Or what is the call to action?