Marketing educational programs for the suddenly single man, or the man living alone can be difficult. This resource will offer a few strategies for generating interesting programs for the older man suggested by experts in the field. The strategies listed below are reprinted from the Health Promotion For Man 50 Plus by AARP.
Strategy 1: Go Where the Men Are
When attracting men to programs, senior centers and hospitals may not be attractive to your clients. You may want to consider some of the following alternatives: gas stations, hardware stores, barber shops, farmers’ associations, men’s service clubs, and recreation leagues such as for golf or bowling. Many older men are avid sports fans. The 65 plus group particularly favors baseball. Example: Barbers and Blood Pressure
Strategy 2: Men Talk to Men
Generally, people tend to listen to someone like them who has been through a similar situation or has made a particular change. For this reason, group settings like lectures do not appeal to older men. The opportunity for health and educational programs seem to work when men can meet and talk with each other in a non-threatening atmosphere. Remember that social situations for men can be both positive and negative. Example: A Men’s Support Group? Yes!!!
Strategy 3: Don’t Just Inform, Motivate!
With age, health becomes more important to women, not so for men. Men are less educated about their bodies and will deny a problem if one should occur. For mature men, the opportunity to learn something new, meet other men, and get out of the house may attract their attention more than the promise of a longer life. Maintaining independence and physical and mental function are very important to the mature man and may allow programming to occur along with the proper motivation to make positive changes in their lives. Example: Low-Fat Food at the Firehouse.
Strategy 4: Make It a Life Experience, Not a Health Experience
Men look for straightforward, step-by-step, simple instructions for integrating change into their everyday routines. A successful program would show how to apply those particular changes, not just why they need to occur. Always emphasize that these are lifetime changes. Example: Duke University’s Center For Living Promises Life Changes
Strategy 5: Consider Self-Help Alternatives to Group Settings
Studies have shown that self-help programs are most effective when reinforced by other interventions. After clients have received self-help materials, a group program could be introduced to meet and discuss results. Example: Men Eschew Classes, Prefer Booklet
Strategy 6: Men Are Achievement Oriented–Stress Benefits Gained
Men respond to a challenge. When programming for educational purposes, an incentive generates participation. Rewards and prizes encourage people to get started with the program while internal rewards such as self-worth and fulfillment allow for long-term change. Example: Appraising Risks, Improving Odds
- Use sensible humor to make men comfortable.
- Consider sports talk.
- Talk about men and their roles in the family.
- Programs need to be short and appropriate.
- Select a speaker with which men can identify and relate.
- Always check for proper lighting, visible materials, and accessible location.
- Make the program enjoyable and fun!