Deciding that a communication campaign will be part of your system of care infrastructure development should take place early to allow sufficient time to identify the funds, staff, and resources needed for the campaign. Youth, parents, agencies, social marketers, and stakeholder organizations in your emerging system of care will play important roles in your communication campaign. Evaluation activities should be linked to your communication campaign from the outset as evaluation results are valuable information to communicate to a variety of audiences. Pre-planning can last up to 12 months.
Activities, Questions to Consider
Communication activities and tasks in your community might include:
- Seeking any necessary approval from designated authorities to develop a communication strategy and implement a communication campaign.
- Researching and evaluating existing communication campaigns in order to develop an informed communication strategy based on lessons learned from other efforts.
- Identifying resources such as revenue, staff, and consultants to support the development and implementation of a social marketing and communication plan.
- Establishing a communication committee or workgroup to develop a social marketing and communication plan.
- Is there an existing communication committee with interagency and family involvement?
- Are you scheduling early focus groups to identify the kind of information needed and how to present the information?
- Identifying the benefits of involvement for each member agency of the communication committee.
- Communication director
- Public affairs officer
- Interagency communication committee
- Intra-agency communication committee
- Social marketing consultant or agency (contracted)
- Neighborhood leaders
- Youth and family members
- Seek necessary approval from any designated authorities to develop a communication strategy and implement a communication campaign.
- Once approved, move forward in developing a communication strategy. This may be a new area of work, providing significant benefits in sustaining your system of care effort after grant funds end.
- Invite youth, parents, and individuals and organizations outside of the agency to play a significant role in the external component of your communication campaign because, in many cases, they may be more effective than agency insiders in delivering messages to the public and other key groups.
- Do not underestimate the work and training required to make successful presentations to stakeholder groups. Repeated practice in public speaking is very helpful.
Kansas – Social Marketing Brief (PDF - 27 KB)
This three-page report outlines what it takes to deliver a successful social marketing campaign, addressing the strategic planning process; situation analysis; goals and objectives; audiences; message concepts; challenges; activities; material and partnerships; and campaign implementation, evaluation, formats, and benefits.
North Carolina – A Communications Infrastructure Example (PDF - 65 KB)
This two-page report explains what a State-level interagency communication committee can do to support interaction between local systems of care activities and the State systems of care collaborative body.
North Carolina – Articulating Accomplishments (PDF - 26 KB)
This two-page document was designed to inform State policymakers about the achievements of the State collaborative for systems of care. It demonstrates how to effectively communicate accomplishments to key individuals and organizations with an eye toward sustaining systems of care work beyond start-up funds.