Select your Issue
Develop a communications strategy to raise awareness about an issue. Select from the following issues: i) Measles vaccinations (NB: Several outbreaks of measles in Australia and across the globe) ii) Flu season in Australia (NB: warning to vulnerable groups to get your flu shot) iii) Dangers associated with passive smoking to children and unborn babies iv) Recognising and treating anxiety disorders early.
Once you have selected your topic, you should then position yourself as being responsible for raising awareness about this issue to relevant stakeholders (e.g. communications officer in the health department; health promotion officer working with universities and schools; other). If unsure how to proceed talk to your tutor, but do so early… not the day before it’s due!
2. Develop a Communications Strategy
Briefly describe your issue and provide background information, including any reputable data (using Deakin Harvard referencing). Write a strategy that explains what you are trying to achieve. This is all about big picture thinking. What is your goal here? Are you trying encourage the development of more knowledge and understanding about the issue? Are you trying to advocate or lobby for a change in attitude or a cultural change in your organisation or region? Are you hoping to influence a change in policy or an injection of funds from politicians? Are you wanting to get people talking about a sensitive issue so that we as a community can have a more informed debate about appropriate interventions to address it?
In your strategy you need to explain who the stakeholders are and how you will communicate with them. You should include a stakeholder analysis in your strategy. It is essential that you refer to the stakeholder analysis lecture found in weekly resources.
Explain what tools you will use and why? (e.g. 5 media releases in local paper over a 10 week period to keep the issue bubbling along; a survey monkey survey to gauge opinions; a blog; a simple 30 sec video to advertise an event; other).
How will you measure your success? Develop a set of metrics to determine the impact of your communications strategy. (E.g. How many hits on the website? How many calls to register for the event? Other?). Think carefully about how you will measure the effectiveness of your communications strategy. This is important. Good strategies have clear impact measures.
What are the risks? A good communications strategy will also consider the potential risks and will include a simple risk management plan. This will involve identifying potential risks to you and/or your organisation and appropriate mitigations