Issue 2: Be Strategic!

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The Messenger
Because Messaging Matters!

Issue 2 - The Core of Successful Messaging: Be Strategic!
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Core of Successful Messaging: 
Be Strategic! 
There is no single "best" suicide prevention message that will work for every messenger, goal, audience, and context. Thinking strategically helps you to create messages that fit your situation and use limited resources wisely. The "strategy" component of the Framework refers to the upfront thinking and planning that helps messages succeed.
Start with strategyIt's tempting to jump directly into writing messages or picking delivery channels (e.g. posters, brochures). For better results, start by deciding:
  • why you're messaging,
  • who you want to reach, 
  • what you want the audience to do differently after hearing the message, and
  • what are the potential channels to reach that audience with your message.
Strategy is a way of thinkingIt's best that no message be disseminated to the public without deciding the "why, who, what, and how" of it. Some efforts such as campaigns are best developed using a more formal strategic planning process. Equally important is day-to-day strategic thinking about who you're messaging to, and how it fits in with your larger goals and organizational messages. Strategy can help improve the effectiveness of all types of messaging, including campaigns, public speeches, social media posts, and promotional materials.
All messages should consider the 4 Framework elements.
The most successful messaging will be shaped by all four elements: strategy, safety ("safe messaging"), positive narrative, and guidelines.
The Messenger
A resource from the Action Alliance designed to highlight our comprehensive Framework for Successful Messaging, and to share stories of messaging in action from the field. 

The Framework 
The Framework for Successful Messaging provides guidance and resources for messages disseminated to the public by suicide prevention messengers, like YOU

Messaging Tip!
Want to be more strategic? Shift from "communicating for awareness" to "communicating for action." Simply providing information about the problem is unlikely to result in behavior change. Opinion polls show that the public is supportive of suicide prevention in the abstract, but is less clear about how to take action. 

Every single tweet doesn't need to name an action, but a high percentage of your messages should incorporate specific "calls to action" that are realistic for your audience and tied to your overall goals. Also include the information they need to act or a way to access that information. Learn about more tips to message strategically.

Check out other resources that are specific to the "strategy" component of the Framework
Spotlight On: Successful Messaging!

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Framework for Successful Messaging

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Stay tuned for our next issue about Ensuring Messages are Safe and Helpful!
If you or someone you know is in crisis, 
please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority.

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
1025 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Ste 700
Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20007