Blog > 3 tips to consider when highlighting patient diversity for your clinical trial awareness materials

3 tips to consider when highlighting patient diversity for your clinical trial awareness materials

So you’ve committed to making sure that your patient recruitment is as diverse as possible, but you just don’t seem to be reaching diverse groups. You feel like you’re taking all the right steps, so what’s going wrong? It may be something as seemingly simple as your choice of stock photos and videos. To encourage diverse patient recruitment, it is absolutely crucial to use diverse stock photos and videos. Keep reading to gain a little more detail on why it’s important, and some useful tips to help you to get your hands on authentically diverse stock photos. When you’re looking to use diverse photos in your advertising, you need to make sure it’s accurate. But what do we mean by that? Some stock photos can perpetuate a stereotypical view of minority groups, which simply isn’t relatable. The whole point of using diverse stock imagery is to make people feel included and represented, which can’t happen if the images are an inaccurate representation.

How can representation in imagery impact your brand?

The images you use in your advertising can really impact your brand, both positively and negatively. When Adobe conducted a survey with 2000 respondents, they found the following:

On a positive note, the survey also found that consumers were more likely to trust brands that show diversity in their ads. This trend was even higher among minority groups, with the following percentages being more likely to trust advertising that was representative:

  • 85% of Latinx participants
  • 79% of Black participants
  • 79% of Asian/Pacific Islander participants
  • 85% LGBTQ participants

So, imagery really can make or break your advertising when you’re trying to reach minority groups. This expands into clinical trial advertising too, and it’s really important that you get it right. Bearing that in mind, here are three things to consider when looking for authentically diverse imagery to use in your clinical trial materials:

    General search terms simply won’t return a diverse array of images. For example, if you search ‘man’, you’ll more than likely be bombarded with staged photos of overly happy white men. Make sure you know exactly who you’re looking to represent, and make sure that’s how you craft your search terms.

    With clinical trials, there are plenty of additional regulations you have to abide by when it comes to imagery. Every designer who’s worked in this field will understand the formidable task of ’not too sad, not too happy’. Getting images that express the right emotions on a diverse range of people is notoriously difficult.

    For that reason, when it comes to using representative content in clinical trials, many people may be tempted to sacrifice diversity for images that follow these additional regulations. Please don’t be one of those people though, it is possible to get both. Try adding the words ‘natural’ or ‘neutral’ to your searches, you’ll notice the images that come up will be more relevant, and you’ll dramatically reduce the number of images you need to sift through.

    Eureka! After 45 minutes of endless scrolling, you’ve finally found it. An authentically representative image, in line with all of the regulations you need it to be. Now you just need to find 5 more. This feeling might be all too familiar.

    When this happens, your best bet is to use the suggested images function. Any images that are similar to your diamond in the rough should appear.

    I know I said three tips, but here’s an extra one. Think of it as a treat for reaching the end of the blog! When you’re searching for images to use in your clinical trial materials and your search results are showing thousands of pages of results, use this tip. The most popular (and therefore the most overused) images are usually in the first few pages. Get to the less-used, more authentic images by skipping straight to page 100 or so. These images usually tend to feel a lot more ‘real’.

    So, there you have it! Three (and a bit) tips to help you improve diversity in your clinical trial materials that’s authentic, real, and appropriate. If you’d like more useful advice on improving diversity in clinical trials, feel free to explore our other tips on our website or you can email me on

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