“By and For” Campaign Development Approach
MEE has a philosophy of developing messages and media by and for the targeted populations. Many tend to oversimplify the communication challenges involved, particularly in reaching urban and lower-income populations. MEE understands that simply being a member of a particular culture is not enough to ensure the effective development and delivery of health messages. To validate message content and delivery, MEE obtains direct input from the target audience(s), through our insightful qualitative research that enables us to understand both the arguments and the effective counter-arguments that need to be reflected in our messaging. After that, in order to address their needs as defined and determined by them, we involve them in the creative process of developing the messages, the program and the media. As a result, MEE-developed campaigns connect with the target audience in a culturally-relevant and persuasive way.
Understanding Oral Communications Culture
Another unique feature of a MEE social marketing campaign is our comprehensive understanding of the oral communications culture of people of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos. Understanding and incorporating the cultural influences, social values and attitudes of our audiences enables us to get a conversation started about our messages at the deepest grassroots level. That process of engaging in give-and-take discussions and debates is essential to the eventual adoption and acceptance of campaign messages. In understanding that these groups may process information differently from the mainstream, MEE has repeatedly designed campaigns that generate “word-of-mouth.”