Don’t Lose the Social Marketing Sizzle After Awareness Day!
Just because National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is over doesn’t mean your social marketing and communications should grind to a halt. Yes, Awareness Day is an amazing opportunity to garner attention for children’s mental health—but there are many ways to keep social marketing moving after May!
Stay Connected with Media
Perhaps you used Awareness Day to reach out to media for the first time, or to expand your media connections. There are many opportunities, big and small, to keep the media drum beat going. Think about other hooks throughout the year to repurpose your Awareness Day event messages and materials. You could consider pitching a human-interest story to your media contacts about how Awareness Day impacted a young adult or family. Back-to-school, National Suicide Prevention Week (September), or Mental Health Awareness Week (October) are other opportunities to get your message out. Set up a Google News alert to stay on top of relevant local and regional coverage and reporters and follow your media contacts on Twitter. Don’t forget to leverage social media, as well as traditional outlets!
Involve Families and Youth
Just as systems of care are family-driven and youth-centered, your social marketing activities should involve these key audiences, whether it’s planning events, offering feedback on messages, or designing materials. Keep families and youth engaged in your outreach by forming a social marketing committee and hearing the voices of important stakeholders to inform the development of exciting new ideas and activities.
Harness the Power of Partners
Awareness Day is a great opportunity to reach out to new partners, as well as re-engage existing ones. Don’t lose the traction you’ve created! Make sure to thank your partners for their involvement and support and update them about your Awareness Day achievements. On social media, tag existing and potential partners to further your reach. You may consider recruiting them for your social marketing committee and plan for future successful events together.
Showcase Your Results
If you’re following social marketing best practices, hopefully you will have evaluated your Awareness Day efforts to see where you excelled and where you can make changes for next year. If you have great results, use this as a marketing opportunity. A brief email to your stakeholders, a social media post, or a short presentation are all great ways to get the word out about your achievements!
Introduction to Social Marketing
Social marketing is the marketing of a positive behavioral change that benefits the intended audience, as well as society. Social marketing planning helps organizations ensure they are being strategic when it comes to their communications efforts. Though often confused with social media, social marketing is a comprehensive and audience-focused process that encourages communications professionals to create measurable goals, research their intended audiences, develop compelling messages that will move people to act or change, develop culturally and linguistically competent materials, use the appropriate channels to distribute them, and to collaborate with key audiences and stakeholders to achieve better results.
The social marketing process paves the way for reducing negative attitudes about behavioral health challenges in local communities, developing business partnerships to support the work long after initial rounds of funding, and adding buy-in from youth and family members—one of the key principles of the Systems of Care philosophy.
As core partners in the TA Network, the University of Maryland, Baltimore; Youth MOVE National; FREDLA; and NICWA provide training and technical assistance in all aspects of social marketing and strategic communications, including social marketing planning and execution, audience segmentation, message development, creating a social marketing committee, and collaborating with youth and families. Our work also includes facilitating peer-to-peer sharing and learning between social marketers.
Social Marketing Learning Community
Join us at Ideas @ The Institute for the Social Marketing Learning Community. It's your opportunity to learn from Individuals working on communications and social marketing in youth-serving systems, to network with each other, and to make use of resources curated and created by the TA Network, including webinars by the FrameWorks Institute.