Our research showed that community-specific media campaigns were effective for tribes. Here are a few tips to make your message community-specific:

A local celebrity we used for a Shoshone-Bannock poster was Wiley Peterson, a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member and a national professional bull rider.

Recruit community members to be models, actors, and actresses:
Use images of people that are recognizable for your audience. At the very least, the models, actors, and actresses should look like they’re from your community.

Use someone notable and respected in the community, like:

  • A respected Tribal elder
  • A family who is active in the community
  • An adorable child everyone knows
  • A local celebrity
Use local imagery: Try to use images that show a familiar place that is recognizable by nearly everyone in your community. This may be a mountain, river, meadow, even a familiar building. This helps viewers see the message as coming from their own communities and encourages them to open their minds to your message.
A Tip from the Team

At the Spokane Tribe, we used a photo of a waterfall that bordered the reservation. That way, all community members would recognize and correspond to our message to use child safety seats on the reservation. For the Salish Tribes, we used graphics of salmon, cedar basketry, huckleberries, and canoes. For the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, we showed beadwork, buffalo, sage, and teepees.


Use graphics that depict community elements. The graphics should show common elements that pertain to your community.

Use recognizable and relevant voices. For radio and television spots, try to find a local voice that your target audience will identify with. Young parents may not respond to the same voice or reading level that you would use with Tribal council members. So you may have to use more than one voice.  You can see specific examples in the next section.

Tailor the message to the audience’s lifestyle. It’s your job to help the consumer see and understand the message. For example, busy parents will need short, important information that gets to the point. Elders may not connect with high-energy messages like a younger audience would. And young people may need messages that speak to their level. Remember to always think about your community and what reading level is appropriate for your messages.

To learn how to create the campaign materials, go to the next section.