question, writing the question at the top and creating columns for each possible response. For example, for a question in an activity log about how many people picked up particular brochures, you could create these columns: 0, 1–5, 6–10, 11–15, 16–20, and >20. Then record the response from each log by making a check mark in the appropriate column. Tally the check marks in each column, and calculate the percentage of partici- pants who gave each type of response.
Educational materials for the public and for patients often are routed to their intended audiences through health professionals or other individuals or organizations that can communicate for you. These intermediaries act as gatekeepers, controlling the distribution channels that reach your audiences. Their approval or disapproval of your materials can be a critical factor in your program’s success. If they don’t like a poster or don’t believe it’s credible or scientifically accurate, it may never
reach your audience.
Gatekeeper review of rough materials should be considered part of the pretesting process, although it’s no substitute for pretesting materials with audience members. It’s also no substitute for obtaining clearances or expert review for technical accuracy; that should be done before pretesting. Sometimes telling the
Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights
gatekeeper that technical experts have review- ed the material for accuracy will reassure them and may speed approval of your message.
How you obtain gatekeeper reviews depends on your resources, including time and budget. Two methods are common:
Self-administered questionnaires. Gatekeepers are sent the materials and the questionnaire at the same time. (See Appendix 3.5 for an example.)
Interviewer-administered questionnaires. Typicall , an appointment for the inter- view is scheduled with the gatekeeper, and the materials are sent for review in advance.
Questionnaires should be written to ask about overall reactions to the materials, including an assessment of whether the information is appropriate and useful.
In some cases, a formal questionnaire might not be feasible, especially if you don’t think the gatekeeper will take the time to fill it out. Arrange a telephone or personal conversation or a meeting to review the materials. Consider in advance which questions you want to ask,
and bring a list of these questions with you. One advantage of this approach is that you can use the discussion with gatekeepers to intro- duce them to your program and to ask if they want to become involved.