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.
National organization uses positive messaging to fundraise on social media.
What it is:
This series of tweets on June 1, 2013 from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) features an array of AFSP programs and services that will be supported by funds raised through the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk.Tags: Social media, Fundraising, Twitter
These messages are designed to achieve a specific operational goal: to raise funds for the organization. They are thoughtfully planned and timed, and include a specific call to action for the audience (to make donations). At the same time, these messages also advance a broader suicide prevention goal, which is to increase the public’s knowledge about the array of AFSP programs, policies, and services that exist to help prevent suicide.
These messages avoid content that normalizes suicide or makes it seem unstoppable, such as providing dire statistics or using language like “epidemic.”
These tweets send the overarching message that something can and is being done about suicide. The level of detail helps the public to picture what suicide prevention looks like in action.
Guideline Example relevant to this type of message:
Also see resources in the Guidelines category Telling Others’ Stories.