To successfully increase enrollment in Medicaid and SCHIP, you should reach out to the media and create promotional materials to distribute to the community. Tailoring and using the AI/AN templates on this Web site is an effective way to increase awareness of Medicaid and SCHIP.
You should incorporate Native languages and graphics whenever appropriate. This helps AI/AN families identify with the program and understand that it is a resource meant for them. Be sure to use simple language on promotional materials that will be understood by individuals with different educational backgrounds and reading levels.
You will want to conduct outreach to outlets that reach the AI/AN community so you can inform them about your efforts. Approach popular AI/AN media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations and television stations to inform them about the issue and ask them to promote outreach events in the community.
For a listing of AI/AN-specific media outlets, visit the Native Culture Web site at www.nativeculturelinks.com/media.html. To learn about other media outreach strategies and access other media templates such as press releases and drop-in articles, download the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign Action Kit.
Radio PSAs are typically 30- or 60-second clips aired on a radio station. They are formatted like commercials--partly because they must compete with commercials for the public's attention--but radio stations donate the airtime for PSAs. The PSA script in this toolkit is "evergreen," meaning that you can place it anytime during the year. If possible, tie the airing to an outreach drive or a community event.
Download a template PSA and cover memo. You are encouraged to customize these templates to include the name of a specific clinic, important benefits to the community, and other pieces of information that will gain the attention of the listening audience. For more information on placing PSAs, download the Covering Kids & Families Guide to Placing Public Service Announcements.
You can work with organizations that have strong connections with families in the community to include articles about Medicaid and SCHIP in their newsletters. Download a template newsletter article. These articles can explain Medicaid and SCHIP, discuss why it is important for families to enroll, and present real-life stories of people who have had a positive experience with these programs. If the resources are available, you can also create your own newsletter to send to community partners which will increase the program's visibility.
While they can be expensive, print ads in popular AI/AN newspapers can be an effective way to increase name recognition and public awareness of Medicaid and SCHIP. It may be possible to get newspaper space donated. Some of the larger AI/AN newspapers offer special health supplements once or twice a year and these are particularly appropriate times to purchase advertisements in those supplements.
Customize sample fliers from this Web site. There is a simple, 8.5" x 11" flier that can be used to advertise a program or event and can be displayed or mailed. The templates can be printed in either color or black and white. No matter what flier you use, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
• Be specific and include all pertinent information about your event, such as location, date, time and purpose. Be clear and concise. If a flier has too much text or is difficult to read, people will ignore it.
• Display fliers in locations frequented by families and caretakers of children, such as schools, doctor's offices, supermarkets, tribal offices and Laundromats.
•Customize the flier based on messages that are known to work.
Promotional items can be a useful way to grab people's attention at various events and leave them with a reminder to apply for Medicaid or SCHIP. Each item should have the name of the program on it and a contact number or address where families can get more information about enrollment. Ideas for promotional items include pocket brochures, Frisbees, key chains, water bottles, T-shirts, magnets, small toys, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, towels and coloring books.