Project Mission

To adapt the American Lung Association’s Better For It toolkit created for the U.S. Black population to an American Indian and Alaska Native audience. The Better For It toolkit aims to provide scientific information on COVID-19 vaccination and become a vaccine ambassador.

The project manager of the ALA contract subcontracted with Vexing Media to provide writing, editing, and graphic design services to develop the Better For It COVID-19 vaccination toolkit for the indigenous populations in the United States.

Business Statement

The American Lung Association (ALA) is saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. ALA was founded over 115 years ago by a group of volunteers dedicated to ending the lung health threat at the time: tuberculosis.

COVID-19 is a lung disease caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in late 2019. COVID-19 and its symptoms can range from mild to severe. Anyone can get COVID-19, but some individuals are more at risk for severe disease than others. The majority of people recover from COVID-19 within a few weeks, but it can be life-threatening. Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are widely available for everyone 12 years of age and older.

National vaccination initiatives in the United States support the critical work of achieving health equity for all Americans.

While the Better For It guide is not intended to be a persuasive tool, it has been developed to provide families and individuals with the information they need to explore concerns, answer questions, and start a conversation about general immunization and the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Process

The project manager of the ALA contract subcontracted with Vexing Media as he had worked with Vexing Media on previous contracts and knew that we have the content development and design experience to help ALA effectively and efficiently develop an online publication that will resonate well with American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Vexing Media has past performance and expertise in developing materials with an indigenous population focus. To ensure that the content was developed in plain language regarding scientific data and information provided about the COVID-19 vaccines available, Vexing Media contracted one of its professional writer consultants with a background in health sciences and is a tribal citizen of a local American Indian nation. Additionally, Vexing Media’s graphic designer and the writer recently completed an Indian Health Service deliverable that included the development of behavioral health and COVID-19 document briefs about 3 months earlier.

The project team included the project management team (project manager and editor) and Vexing Media’s team, including the team manager (lead and primary correspondent with the project manager), writer/copy editor, and graphic designer.

The writer began by developing an audience analysis of the indigenous populations of the U.S. (e.g., American Indians, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders) and sharing it with the graphic designer and team manager for review and feedback. The team manager then shared the document with the project manager and ALA.

This is a vital step as it brought everyone involved onto the same page and expectations of the toolkit and to whom will be using it. The audience analysis also demonstrated to the client that the entire team was completely cognizant and dedicated to making communication materials and products scientifically accurate, attractive, strategic, and culturally resonant. She also developed an outline to keep the main content from the COVID-19 toolkit for Black populations and shared it with everyone.

  • How the Body Fights Disease, page 9
  • COVID-19 Vaccine, page 10
  • Warp Speed Vaccine, Page 12
  • Dr. Fauci, Page 16
  • Clinical Trials, Page 23-25

Once ALA and the project manager signed off on the audience analysis and the outline, the writer started adapting the material towards the Native American audience. Foremost in her writing was the attitude and personality of the audience affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Native American audience was overwhelmed by the crisis and may not have received information about the current vaccination options COVID-19. The writer also researched for credible sources to include in the toolkit.

Once the writing was completed, the content draft was shared with the Vexing Media and project management teams. A meeting with the ALA was held to discuss the content, identify gaps, and ascertain the images and graphics in the toolkit that complemented the narrative.

The writer revised the content per the feedback, and the comments received from the ALA and project management team and then sent the final content to the graphic designer.

The graphic designer located photos and images that harmonized with the words chosen by the writer and laid out the toolkit. The graphic designer sent the mock-up to the writer for copy-editing and then revised it accordingly. When the mock-up draft was revised, he sent it to the team manager, who forwarded it to the project manager to share with ALA. The review meeting had a few changes to make: the ALA narrative that was in the process of modification. ALA wanted to be sure that the toolkit reflected the new verbiage used by ALA for their COVID-19 web pages.

The final online publication was completed on time.

The Results

Vexing Media’s team collaborated with the primary contractor in producing a culturally relevant, audience-driven, and scientific publication. We are pleased that the Better For It series includes the Resiliency & Immunity toolkit that is user friendly and speaks to the recommendations from a report provided by the Urban Indian Health Institute on the “development and delivery of culturally attuned vaccination campaigns, educational materials, and programs (2021).”

The American Lung Association’s Better For It toolkit shares the resiliency of Native Americans throughout the pandemic and how they are supporting efforts to end COVID-19.”

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What's Next

We view collaboration among all team players as the critical element for our clients and our company’s success. We have been thankful to have worked with the ALA contract.

We look forward to additional work in the public health arena. We acknowledge the value of using accessible and clear information about any healthcare issue and strive to use the most current and up-to-date research and data available.

See other organizations we have worked with here and contact us for a free consultation!