The end goal

Be clear about what you want to achieve. While your overall campaign goal may be to move the audience from consideration to action, for newly arrived migrants it may be necessary to build awareness first.

Finding the right channels

There are a number of elements to consider when planning your channels, these could include advertising channels or community engagement. For NSW Government advertising channels advice, get in touch with the master media agency or contact the Department of Customer Service here.

For connections to community members or more information about specific community communication channels reach out to Multicultural NSW.


Language groups vary in size so this should be reflected in the budget allocation, rather than being split evenly across all groups. The number of language groups and channels will significantly impact your budget. Make sure you are effectively utilising your budget by understanding your audiences and channels well.

Understand where your audiences are getting their information from

Younger audiences may be more engaged with social media while mature audiences may be relying on mainstream media or community media. If you are using social media, consider multicultural media moderation as people may be commenting on posts in their own language.

Ensure your communications are presented in formats that your audiences prefer.

Determine the best format for your content

Communications need to be accessible for the target audience –which involves ensuring communications are presented in formats that your audiences prefer.

For example, if your campaign is about topping up your Opal card, an audio message on the radio may be helpful, but it could be supplemented by more visual forms so people can see how to do this step-by-step.

Some people can fluently speak a language but may not be able to read or write in that language.

Written content may not be appropriate for communities where many people can’t read or write in-language. Many languages also may not have a standardised written form and videos and/or audio should be used instead. Examples of these are West African Pidgin English or Tok Pisin.

The messenger effect – 
finding the trusted voices

The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer showed that globally, people were inclined to trust their neighbours and local community more than journalists or government leaders. Use the community’s influencers (they have the power to influence decision making in a community) and amplifiers (they can be the conduits to get your message heard in the community) to spread your message.

Empower your audiences to have their own conversations

Discover where your target audience is most active and create shareable content or pieces they can personalise.

People may be fluent in speaking a particular language but may not necessarily be able to read or write in it. Twenty per cent of participants in the Building a New Life in Australia longitudinal study (which studies more than 2,000 humanitarian entrants over a 5-year period) are illiterate in their own main spoken language.

Attributes of a good spokesperson

When looking for a spokesperson to deliver your message they should be:

  1. Trusted by various sectors of the community

  2. Have a clean record

  3. Have credibility with your target audiences

  4. Align with the topic you are speaking about

  5. Confident and engaging

  6. Able to be briefed well on the topic of your communications (including potential questions and pitfalls)

Case Study

Multicultural Communications in action

Geotargeted messages during COVID

During the COVID-19 Delta outbreak in August 2021, the NSW Department of Customer Service (DCS), in partnership with NSW Health, NSW Multicultural Communication Health Service (NSW MCHS) and Multicultural NSW, launched the ‘Let’s do this’ campaign. The campaign aimed to help drive a rapid uptake of vaccinations.

Messaging was delivered using hyper-local digital and non-digital channels. The campaign was also extended through direct engagement with local community networks and leaders to ensure messages were amplified by word of mouth and trusted community representatives.

There was a specific focus on communities in South West and Western Sydney including communities who spoke Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Hindi, which involved using popular media channels used by those communities such as Wechat, Weibo and 2MORO.

Some of the hyper-localised activities included dedicated in-language information sessions, chalk stencils on paths strategically placed close to COVID-19 vaccination hubs, GPs and pharmacies and in-language COVID announcements in Woolworths stores in the 12 key Local Government Areas.

Thank you

This playbook represents the collective knowledge and expertise from a diverse range of people across NSW Government. They willingly shared their insights to help uplift communications to multicultural audiences; ensuring these communities are considered and included in every service and space.

We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the CALD Communications Working Group and multicultural communications agencies, including Etcom, Identity Communications and LOUD Communications Group.

Multicultural NSW is here to provide you with support and guidance every step of the way. 
If you have any questions,
 get in touch.

Page last updated: 31 May 2024 | 11:38 am