Skip Navigation

Messaging and Media Campaigns

The success of our message as prevention specialist is highly dependent on how we reach our target audience. Media campaigns, including social media, social marketing, and more traditional media advocacy, need to be thoughtfully planned with explicit goals, intended audience(s), and well-constructed framing and messaging.

Campaign planning

The CDC has created a communications website, designed for health educators. The site, titled Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice, has a number of user-friendly tools to help you:

  • Identify your audience
  • Design a social media and communications campaign
  • Determine channels to disseminate your information
  • Evaluate your social media and communications campaigns

Key Best Practices for Effective Sexual Violence Public Education Campaigns: A Summary. This summary highlights: 1. What effective social marketing brings to sexual violence public education campaigns? 2. The best practices in public education campaigns.

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health has published the Pink Book: Making Health Communications Programs Work to help make any communication program work, regardless of size, topic, geographic span, intended audience, or budget. (Intended audience is the term this book uses to convey what other publications may refer to as a target audience.) The key is reading all the steps and adapting those relevant to your program at a level of effort appropriate to the program’s scope. The tips and sidebars throughout the book suggest ways to tailor the process to your various communication needs.

Donovan and Vlais (2005) found that:

  • “media campaigns alone are unlikely to result in behavioral change, but rather should be integrated and mutually reinforce other ‘on-the-ground’ strategies (including service provision, prevention programs in localized settings and policy/legislative changes)
  • media campaigns can be undermined by contradictory messages across mass media sources more broadly, and thus may be complimented by media advocacy strategies directed towards the reporting of violence against women generally
  • many media campaigns have lacked the sustained funding and implementation needed to best ensure their effectiveness over time”

From the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation report “Review of bystander approaches in support of preventing violence against women”

Preventing Sexual Violence: A communications approach – a 2014 web conference with Rosemari Ochoa that provides clear and relevant guidance on planning and using communications to promote sexual health and prevent sexual violence.

Message content

More resources