These examples are designed to bring the Framework for Successful Messaging to life and inspire you to think about the four elements of Strategy, Safety, Positive Narrative, and Guidelines when developing or choosing your own messages and materials.
- The examples are intended as inspiration; resist the urge to imitate or adopt others’ messaging without thinking through your own goals, audiences, and how it fits in with your overall efforts. In other words, always start with Strategy.
- While the Framework for Successful Messaging outlines core principles for developing messages that research tells us are more likely to be safe and effective, conducting evaluation is the only true test. Most of these examples weren’t evaluated, so unless the description mentions research outcomes, we simply don’t know whether or not they were effective in achieving their goals.
The Love is Louder national grassroots movement works online, through the media and in communities to strengthen emotional health by building resiliency, creating connectedness, promoting acceptance, and empowering peers to support each other.
What it is:
Love is Louder was started by The Jed Foundation, MTV and actress Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. This initiative addresses issues like bullying, negative self-image, discrimination, loneliness and depression by “raising the volume” around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that “brings us down.” The emphasis is on coping and resiliency: “Even as we work to stop negative words and actions that hurt us, we can strengthen our abilities to cope with hard times, focus on the positive, support the people around us and reach out for help if we need it.” Love is Louder began as a campaign to engage college students and grew into a nationwide movement with participation by more than hundred thousand college students, youth, and community members of all ages.Tags: Young adult, Campaign, Social media, Bullying, Facebook, Twitter, Increase resiliency and coping, Promote connectedness
Its overall goal—engaging students to be proactive about their emotional health and to feel connected and look out for their peers—is grounded in the Jed Foundation’s broader mission: promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students.
To shape the message, the project partners used audience research as well as lessons learned from creating prior campaigns. The research showed that few students were interested in conversations or online spaces focused solely on “mental health.” However, students did respond well to discussions about how they and their friends feel and what they’re experiencing, especially when integrated into technology and social networks they already use.
The campaign built in clear calls to action in three areas: to feel better, to help others, and to change your campus and community, with an emphasis on providing examples of small concrete achievable steps in each area . The centerpiece of the initiative is an extensive social media presence that encourages taking action in the form of sharing struggles, seeking support, offering support to others, using actions to help rather than hurt, and sharing pictures, stories, and messages that love is louder than things that cause pain. A complementary website with materials and tools provides specifics on how to take action online and in local communities. For example, an Action Kit includes an Action Card, which prompts individuals to identify self-care behaviors, ways to help others, and things that make them feel positive. The Kit includes guidance for planning local events and activities to spread Love is Louder messages and actions and encourages sharing of stories and photos from these events online. The website also describes how to take an action photo, create an action page, plan an event, find help, and donate.
The campaign itself does not share messages or materials that violate the Safety guidelines. Because the initiative focuses on positive messages and actions, most individuals who post comments and photos tend to follow those themes and rarely include unsafe details or content that normalizes suicide. Posts indicating that the person is upset or distressed are usually met with encouraging comments by other followers. The project team has a protocol for responding to content or messages about feeling hopeless or suicidal by sending the person a message and/or reporting them to the social media site for imminent risk.
his initiative conveys that there are actions people can take to prevent suicide, that coping and recovery are possible, and that there’s value in uniting our voices to amplify messages that highlight actions and stories of coping. Negative experiences aren’t forbidden topics; the campaign materials encourage participants to express negative feelings, especially through creative means. These expressions provide the opportunity for peers to provide support and share real stories of how they got through tough times. Thus, individuals’ authentic experiences are honored, but aren’t turned into an overall negative narrative such as “all LGBT kids are bullied” or “no one in this situation ever gets help.”
Guideline Example relevant to this type of message:
See other resources in the Guidelines category Social Media.