Creating a comprehensive strategy to reach CALD communities

Content strategies are essential for ensuring your content is consistent, well planned and maintainable. They are even more important when you have critical communications that need to reach diverse audiences.

Biotext was engaged by the Department of Health and Aged Care (Health) to develop a content strategy for communicating health information with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and there are more than 100 different languages spoken and written in Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted what can happen when some communities can’t access or receive important health messaging. Getting the right message in the right format to multicultural communities is increasingly being recognised as a priority, and in-language content requires a strategic approach just like any other content. 

Our work included:

Discovery

Our discovery activities involved extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders. We interviewed representatives of peak organisations and CALD community leaders. We interviewed teams within the department to understand how they create and maintain content for CALD communities. These interviews covered workflow, content governance and technical website functionalities.

Recognising the specialist nature of the user research needed to inform this work, we also partnered with a consortium of CALD user research experts, who engaged with CALD communities to identify their user needs for health information.   

We also conducted a full content audit and analysis of the existing CALD-focused content on the website, benchmarked the site against other websites and analysed website analytics.

Strategy

Based on a deep understanding of user and business needs gained during the discovery stage, we developed a comprehensive and detailed strategy and recommendations for Health on how to improve access to and quality of CALD health information.

The strategy itself included 4 key requirements for communicating with CALD audiences that emerged from our research, as well as a set of content principles, processes for creating content, recommendations to strengthen content governance, and technical requirements and priorities to improve website usability.

Along with the comprehensive content strategy, we delivered a set of implementation tools (see below). Together, we delivered around 200 pages across 21 separate documents, tied together with a visual map that showed the links between parts. Individual documents were marked with their intended audience, so stakeholders could focus on the information that was relevant to them. We also made recommendations on next steps for the department to implement the strategy, and identified performance measures to track success.

Implementation tools

We created a suite of documents and tools to give department teams the practical information they need to apply the strategy and guide them through the process of creating and translating content. This ensured that the strategy will have practical real-world impact.

The tools included:

  • process maps
  • decision trees
  • writing guide
  • guidance on the content needs and optimal channels for reaching various user groups.

We also developed a plain language policy that will help staff throughout the entire department create effective, user-centred content, now and in the future.  

Our role:

  • Client partnerships to ensure business, stakeholder and user needs are met
  • Research to identify needs and processes
  • Content and sector analysis to understand drivers 
  • Content strategy and recommendations
  • Performance measures to track success
  • Process maps and decision trees to support implementation
  • Writing guide and plain language policy as staff resources