If your immunization program or coalition decides to focus on public education for your campaign, you must first decide if you have a specific target audience for your message(s). Are you looking to reach parents, teenagers, grandparents, Hispanics, African Americans, etc? Next, messages must be crafted for your specific audience. Third, you should determine your communication strategy. If possible, hold a focus group prior to the launch of your campaign to test your vaccine messages and materials to determine if they are appropriate for your audience.
A public education campaign may consist of just one element or numerous elements. Some elements you might want to include in a public education campaign are:
- Create and place television and radio public service announcements (PSAs)
- Create and place print ads, which could be placed on magazines, newspapers, outside billboards, on bus shelters, on the sides of buses, etc.
- Share true stories of families affected by vaccine-preventable diseases (via print or video). Stories are available from ECBT's Vaccinate Your Baby program, Families Fighting Flu, PKIDs, Shot By Shot and Texas Children's Hospital.
- Increase access to vaccinations (e.g., health fairs, mobile vaccination clinics; school-based vaccinations; "drive by" flu vaccination clinics; etc)
- Write op-eds for print and online news outlets
- Work with your local print and television media and use them to get your messages out the public or let them know you are an available resource for their future stories
- Utilize social media to get your immunization messages out to the public
- Develop educational resources, such as fliers, brochures and posters, that can be used or distributed by healthcare providers (e.g., resources that assist healthcare providers when talking to parents or materials for healthcare providers to post or distribute to their patients) or use existing educational resources available by many organizations including ECBT and the CDC.
To assist immunization programs, coalitions and other advocates looking to conduct immunization campaigns during National Infant Immunization Week or other times throughout the year, the CDC has created a variety of promotional materials (e.g., print ads, radio and television PSAs, posters, etc) and web and e-tools (e.g., banners, e-cards, and social media messaging).
You may also want to learn from other immunization advocates' experiences by looking at the presentations from past immunization conferences such as the CDC's National Immunization Conference and the National Conference on Health and Immunization Coalitions.
Learn more about Every Child By Two’s most recent campaigns.