Information is more likely to be useful if consumers have it during the period in which they are making a decision. While this sounds simple and obvious, it is not that easy to do:

  • You may not know when people need the information.
  • It may be difficult to have the information available when (and where) people need it.

To help you address these obstacles, this section offers guidance on what to do:

Whether or not you can predict your audience's needs, it is critical to take a long-term perspective by distributing timely information at regular intervals.[1] Social marketing research indicates that repetition can facilitate learning and lead to the development of a favorable response. Also, as people become accustomed to seeing the information, they often perceive it as being more important. Over time, they should know to seek it out when they need it.

[1] To learn about the value of repeated exposure to report cards, refer to: Knutson D, Kind EA, Fowles JB, Adlis S. The impact of report cards on employees: a natural experiment. Health Care Financ Rev 1998 Fall;20(1):5-27.

Also in "Distribute Your Report"

Page last reviewed March 2016
Page originally created February 2016
Internet Citation: Timing. Content last reviewed March 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/talkingquality/disseminate/timing.html