This report summarizes findings from a focus group that was conducted in August 2016 by the communications committee members of Living Well Kent. The purpose of the focus group was to collection information that help gain insights into ways to message “healthy community” concepts that resonate with youth living in the Kent area, understand specific primary channels of information that communications committee should be aware of for communicating Living Well Kent activities and solicit contacts for groups who may be able to engage with our social media campaign for active living and healthy eating moving forward. The focus group questions touched on the participant’s perception of what healthy eating and active living means and ways that the Living Well Kent Website can be improved. There were 10 participants (5 boys and 5 girls) of this focus group consisting of African-American, Somali, Hispanic, Asian and Caucasian cultural backgrounds. All participants are residents from Kent and their ages are from 16 to 24 years old.
Focus group participants were asked to respond to 10 open-ended questions. Questions were developed by the communication committee members of Living Well Kent. Questions were developed to help communication members understand the participant’s thoughts about what is needed to have a healthier, safer Kent as well as ways that Living Well Kent can improve the user experience of the LWK website. The duration of the focus group was 2 hours long. In addition to a facilitator, the focus also had a note-taker. No language support was needed as everyone knew how to speak English. Participants discussed issues such as challenges they face with healthy eating and being physically active in Kent.
Results based on healthy eating/active living
Participants revealed that Kent has although Kent is diverse and clean place to live, they have a hard time accessing healthy food. There are a lot of fast food restaurants in the area and the participants would much rather get something quick than prepare their own food. Places to eat healthy food are not close by, so it is easier to order something quick like pizza. When they see advertisements regarding food, it is mostly on fast food. Most of the ads they see in grocery stores are for unhealthy foods like chips. The main barriers they have when it comes to healthy eating is money, transportation and time.
Results based on Social Media/Living Well Kent Website
None of the participants knew about Living Well Kent or its website. Participants stated that the content looks ran together regarding the homepage and would like to see it spaced out more. The footer is missing a name associated with the phone number at the footer area. The About Us page picture looks pixilated and would like to see photos in high resolution. The Contact Us page is also missing a name at the footer area. Participants stated that they wanted to see less scrolling by changing the layout of the page. They also would like to see more pictures that display a verity of food and people being active rather than just vegetables. If there is an upcoming event, participants would like to see a link that would show more details. Participants would like to see more social media links associated with the website, like Instagram.
The participants stated that social media is where they get most of their information, other than health class in school. In some cases they will get health information from billboards, brochures from the doctor’s office, blogs, and you tube videos. Twitter is the social media outlet where participants like to go to the most. While the male participants will tweet once per day or once a week, the female participants tweet every hour. Participants stated that they will only use hash tagging when it comes to a social cause. The participants would like to see more events regarding an active lifestyle. The participants would like to see more free shuttles and ride shares in the Kent area and would like to see a bus stations in the East and West Hill.