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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Promoting Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety to Hispanic Audiences

Promoting Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety to Hispanic Audiences

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2. Marketing Plan

This section summarizes the recommendations for marketing pedestrian and bicycle safety to Hispanic audiences based on analysis and synthesis of the information from the literature review, focus groups, and review of Hispanic outreach materials.

Table 2-1 summarizes the results of the literature search and focus groups in terms of responses to the key questions (listed in the first column). Sections 2.1 through 2.4 present the recommendations for marketing pedestrian and bicycle safety to Hispanic audiences.

Overall, there was much agreement between what was found in the literature review and what was found in the focus groups. The commonalities and contradictions found between the literature review and the focus groups are summarized in Table 2-2.

Table 2-1. Summary of Literature Review and Focus Group Findings.
Question Findings from Literature Review Findings from Focus Groups
Which Hispanic groups should be targeted and why? New immigrants and those less informed about the laws (6)
Latino fathers, brothers, and uncles in order to create lasting behavior change in the Latino household (4)
Participants in the focus groups conducted for this study reported that Hispanics who are recent immigrants, low in acculturation, or possess limited English language skills are those who are most confused about the U.S. traffic safety system.
Should different cultural groups be targeted and why? While each Hispanic culture is unique, the differences as they pertain to pedestrian and bicycle safety are relatively minor (6)
Based on the crash statistics, male Hispanics of Mexican origin are overrepresented in pedestrian and bicycle crashes (1)
Question not addressed in focus groups
What age groups should be targeted and why? Children and seniors (6)
— pedalcyclists ages 10-15 and 70-79 (2)
— pedestrians ages 5-9 and 70+ (3)
Based on crash statistics, Hispanic pedestrians and bicyclists 21-29 years old are overrepresented in fatalities (1)
All extended family members (different ages and roles) with encouragement to spread the word so that everyone who lives in the household can reinforce the message (4)
Question not addressed in focus groups
In what pedestrian and bicycle safety-related areas is communication with Hispanic audiences most needed? Basic rules of the road, meaning of traffic signs and signals, education of pedestrian and bicycle safety (6)
Intersections on multi-lane roadways (1)
The need to obey traffic laws, (10) how to use crosswalks, and pedestrian/bicyclist rights and responsibilities (1)
There was a consensus that Hispanics needed general information on traffic safety issues:
  • Traffic signs (exactly what signs mean; many signs are the same in Latin American countries, but understanding these signs is still an issue)
  • How traffic regulations are enforced in the U.S. (regulations tend not to be enforced as strictly in Latin American countries)
  • How to cross the street safely (including only crossing at intersections, using crosswalks, understanding walk/don't walk signals, and pushing a button to get a walk signal)
  • Where pedestrians should walk/bicyclists should ride (there was confusion over whether bicyclists can/should ride on sidewalks)
  • Overall tips related to the importance of being cautious
Participants were told that Hispanics were especially at risk for accidents, and this was viewed as important information that should be included in educational materials.
What types of messages are most likely to have the most impact? Messages centered on the value of the family as the reason to practice safety (4, 7)
Messages with themes that have some relationship to their lives and consequences to family (7, 8, 9)
Messages built on the oral traditions of the Latino community, utilizing rhymes, riddles, dichos (sayings) and finger games as reminders (4)
Messages built on what families are already doing right (4)
Messages that are realistic (7, 10)
Graphic and explicit descriptions of motor vehicle crashes and the impact on families (7)
No aggressive or enforcement-oriented messages (7)
Messages that are clear, consistent, and free of jargon (10)
Messages that go beyond preachy slogans like "Don't Drink and Drive" but that instead allow recipients to make their own conclusions (10)
Messages, materials, and events that appropriately represent Latinos (4)
Participants expressed a preference for messages that have an emotional component, get their attention, and make them take the message content to heart. However, they do not want this emotional content to be overly frightening or to use scare tactics. Thus, their preference seems to be for messages that highlight the importance of traffic safety (i.e., because accidents do happen), while focusing on a positive reason to avoid such accidents (i.e., out of love for family). Participants were also receptive to general information messages as previously noted, although such general information is more likely to appear in a booklet, while messages with more emotional content would be better received in advertisements and/or posters.
What format and graphics are culturally appropriate? Graphics, photos, and other visuals not relying too heavily on text (6, 8)
Use faces that look like the target population, faces of people that the target audience knows and respects (such as community and religious leaders), popular celebrities, and photographs rather than illustrations . (27)
Participants reported that all materials should be relatively concise. They were willing to listen to a commercial for up to a minute, and were willing to spend 2-3 minutes reading a flyer, advertisement, or brochure. All print materials should be written at a very low literacy level and should rely on images as well as text to convey their message.
What are the best media for getting the messages across? Hispanic media (Telemundo TV, El Tiempo Latino newspaper, Hispanic magazines) (4, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16)
Public service announcements (6, 7)
Television (6, 7, 9, 10)
Radio (6, 7, 9, 10)
Print ads (6, 7, 9)
Posters, flyers, handouts, newspaper inserts (6, 9, 16)
"Fotonovelas" or photographic story telling brochures and "radionovelas" or soap opera style segments (8, 9, 10)
Person-to-person contact (7)
Bumper stickers (9)
Manuals/maps for bicyclists (6)
Nontraditional outreach strategies (4)
Billboards/door decals to demonstrate support from area businesses (11)
Transit shelters and bus backs (9)
Messages should be seen and heard in a variety of places (8)
Materials alone are not enough to change behavior. Commitment to safety practices are more likely to occur when the materials are used in combination with at least one community outreach activities, with the most impact coming from multiple community activities and when respected leaders and family members reinforce the messages. (4)
Participants expressed an interest in information in a variety of formats. They were interested in television, radio, newspaper, and magazine advertisements, as well as in brochures, posters, and information for students. The Hispanic media mentioned by name were Telemundo, Univision, and Telefutura (all TV stations); all participants in the DC group agreed these were good media outlets. The DC group mentioned radio station La Mega 92.7. They only mentioned Spanish-language media outlets, no English outlets. No media by name came up in the group in Colorado Springs. Among these options, television advertisements are most preferred, followed by posters and information distributed at schools. Print materials were seen as most useful because participants were interested in taking them home and looking at them on their own time. Participants were not interested in fotonovelas, radionovelas, buttons, calendars, or bumper stickers as a means to distribute information.
Should materials be presented in just Spanish or in English as well? Bilingual materials should be used (4, 6, 7, 9, 18) Participants thought that the materials should primarily be in Spanish, since they thought the primary target audience should be recent immigrants (many of whom speak little to no English).
How should multiple languages be presented in the documents? Bilingual materials should be presented side by side or front to back rather than line by line (18) Question not addressed in the focus groups
Who are the key partners in the outreach effort? Law-enforcement agencies in which trust has been built (19, 20, 21)
Nonprofit, community-based programs (4, 22)
Committee of key stakeholders (11)
National and local organizations that serve the Latino community, traffic safety organizations, and agencies that specialize in health education (27)
Question not addressed in the focus groups
Who should help distribute and promote the public safety information within the community? Trusted community organizations, family members, and friends (4)
Public and non-profit grassroots organizations (25)
Delivered by real people as opposed to celebrities (10)
Word-of-mouth advertising campaigns (9)
Participants in the focus groups conducted for this study thought that they had a role to play in distributing such information via conversations with friends and family members. In addition, information spread via word-of-mouth (e.g., through a network of Hispanics trained to educate others on this topic) would also be appreciated.
Where should the materials be distributed? Schools (6, 7, 16)
Churches and community-based organizations (6, 7)
Soccer games (6, 26)
Public transit stations and bus shelters, and supermarkets, doctors' offices, libraries, motor vehicle offices, bicycle race, and bike stores (6)
Family gatherings, cultural celebrations, special events, and holidays are key outreach tools. El Día de los Niños, birthdays, El Día de los Muertos and Mother's Day are recommended for special events. (4, 26)
Safety events should be planned at the local Head Start center, clinics, multiservice centers, neighborhood stores or parks. (4)
Materials can be distributed through programs used by members of the target audience, for example, English classes, Head Start, child care agencies, prenatal classes, etc. (27)
Participants listed a variety of possible locations. The most popular were schools, supermarkets, other stores (Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven were mentioned by name), and churches. There was also some interest in getting information through community centers or at doctor's offices. A few participants mentioned public transit stations or motor vehicle offices as possible locations to distribute information. There was little to no interest in getting information at soccer games (they go to games for entertainment purposes), libraries (few Hispanics visit libraries because most information is in English), or bicycle shops (too expensive).


Table 2-2. Commonalities and Contradictions Between Literature and Focus Groups.
Question Commonalities between Literature and Focus Groups Contradictions between Literature and Focus Groups
Which Hispanic groups should be targeted and why? New/recent immigrants
In what pedestrian and bicycle safety-related areas is communication with Hispanic audiences most needed?
  • Meaning of traffic signs/signals
  • Education of laws/regulations/rules-of-road
  • Education on pedestrian and bicycle safety
What types of messages are most likely to have the most impact?
  • Messages with emotional content
  • Messages that focus on value of family
  • No aggressive or enforcement messages (scare tactics)
What format and graphics are culturally appropriate?
  • Use of graphics/photos/visuals
  • Concise messages that do not rely too heavily on text
What are the best media for getting the messages across?
  • Hispanic media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines)
  • Brochures/flyers/handouts
The literature showed fotonovelas, radionovelas, and bumper stickers as good media; however, focus group participants were not interested in these media.
Should materials be presented in just Spanish or in English as well? The literature consistently said that bilingual materials should be used; however, focus group participants said that materials should be primarily in Spanish (Note: this may have resulted from new immigrants representing the largest target audience in the groups and/or participants being shown predominantly Spanish language materials as examples).
Who should help distribute and promote the public safety information within the community?
  • Family members
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Non-profit/grassroots organizations/Hispanic organizations trained to educate others
Where should the materials be distributed?
  • Schools
  • Supermarkets
  • Community-based orgs/community centers
  • Doctors' offices
  • Public transit stations
  • Motor vehicle offices
The literature pointed to soccer games, libraries, and bicycle shops as places to distribute information; however, focus group participants did not think these were good locations to distribute materials (e.g., soccer games are for entertainment, libraries have mostly English materials, and bike shops are too expensive).

2.1 Audience

Based on the research, the following audiences may be more at risk as pedestrians or bicyclists or may be groups that should be targeted by pedestrian/bicycle campaigns to "get the word" out through word-of-mouth marketing:

2.2 Safety Issues to Include in Campaign

Recommended pedestrian and bicycle safety issues to be included in the outreach campaigns have been split into the following two categories:

1. Educational issues:

2. Informational issues:

While there is a fine line between educational and informational issues, educational issues focus more on teaching the audience rules and regulations that they are expected to follow and how these rules and regulations are enforced. Informational issues focus more on issues like what it takes to be a safe pedestrian or bicyclist (e.g., always use a crosswalk, push the call button to receive the pedestrian signal, always look left-right-left before crossing the street).

2.3 Messages

Based on the research, messages about pedestrian and bicycle safety for Hispanic audiences should:

It is recommended that these messages:

2.4 Materials/Media

Use of a variety of materials (messages should be seen and heard in a variety of places) is recommended, rather than focusing on one type of media. The recommended media to be included in an outreach campaign include:

It should be noted that the use of Hispanic media is important. There are many Hispanics who watch only Spanish TV, listen to only Spanish radio stations, and/or read only Spanish newspapers and magazines. Therefore, using only mainstream media may not reach some of the target audience.

2.5 Suggested Methods of Dissemination of Materials

One of the most important recommendations from the research is that materials alone are not enough to change behavior. Due to the importance of family and community in the Hispanic culture, commitment to safety practices are more likely to occur when the materials are used in combination with at least one community outreach activity, with the most impact coming from multiple activities held within the community and when respected leaders of the community as well as family members reinforce the messages through:

With these recommendations in mind, Table 2-3 makes the connection between the audience (the who), the issues and types of messages (the what), the media (the how), and the methods of dissemination (the where). For example, if children are the focus of a safety campaign, issues could be educational and/or informational; messages should focus on the value of family; and posters, handouts, and comics are media that should be disseminated at schools with person-to-person contact with teachers, administrators, or other authority figures. Television is also a recommended medium for information dissemination and could be used in addition to the print media distributed at schools. If household males are the target of a safety campaign, issues could be educational and/or informational; messages should have an emotional component and focus on the impact of the family if something were to happen to them; and TV and radio stations, along with print media, are recommended media types. TV and/or radio advertisements could be broadcast during appropriate sports events; and brochures, flyers, or handouts could be made available at motor vehicle offices.

Safety campaigns should be tailored to fit the needs of each community. This will help determine whether educational or informational issues are most important.

Table 2-3. Connecting the Who, What, How, and Where of Marketing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety to Hispanic Audiences
Audience
(Who?)
Issues
(What?)
Messages
(What?)
Materials/Media
(How?)
Methods of Dissemination
(Where?)
New immigrants Educational & Informational Value of family
Impact on family
Emotional component
Relates to their lives
Hispanic TV and radio stations*
Hispanic newspapers and magazines*
Brochures, flyers, handouts
Hispanic TV and radio stations*
Hispanic newspapers and magazines*
Public transit stations
Supermarkets
Churches
Mexican males Educational & Informational Value of family
Impact on family
Emotional component
Relates to their life
TV and radio stations*
Newspapers and magazines*
Brochures, flyers, handouts
TV and radio stations*
Newspapers and magazines*
Motor vehicle offices
Public transit stations
Supermarkets
Children Educational & Informational Value of family Hispanic TV*
Posters, handouts, comics
Person-to-person contact
Hispanic TV*
Schools (teachers, administrators, authority figures)
Seniors Educational & Informational Value of family
Emotional component
Relates to their life
Hispanic TV and radio stations*
Brochures, flyers, handouts
Person-to-person contact
Hispanic TV and radio stations*
Community centers
Senior centers
Churches
Male members of the household Educational & Informational Value of family
Emotional component
Impact on family
Relates to their life
TV and radio stations*
Newspapers and magazines*
Brochures, flyers, handouts
TV and radio stations*
Newspapers and magazines*
Motor vehicle offices
Entire family Educational & Informational Value of family
Emotional component
Impact on family
Relates to their life
Brochures, flyers, handouts, games
Person-to-person contact
Special events, holidays, community activities
Soccer games
Churches
* While much of the findings point towards Spanish-language TV, radio, and print media, the researchers recognize that this may not be exclusive for each group. "According to a Texas media representative, Spanish radio and TV are the most effective media for reaching Hispanic audiences. Spanish television reaches most of the younger generation, since they do not read newspapers. However, Hispanics who are 30 to 40 years of age are best reached through the English media. The media representative mentioned studies showing that although many Hispanics in Texas speak Spanish, only a small percentage of long-term residents read it. Translations are often so badly done that given a choice of reading a newspaper in English or reading the Spanish translation, approximately 8 out of 10 Hispanics would choose to read the English version. According to the media representative, the affinity for reading English is particularly strong in second generation Hispanics because they were penalized as children if they spoke Spanish in Texas schools."(7)

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Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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