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Catalogue of Tools & Cases

There are many possible communication tools to use to either raise Attention, increase Interest, create Desire towards change, and enable Action as to self care.These are “only” tools to communicate the how, why, when of self care.

If you are looking for a guide as to specific actions look at the advice about self care here.

If you have a specific condition, Intention and communication situation in mind, you can consider looking at the Advanced Matrix section to match individual communication tools with individual stages of self care communication.

This catalogue of tools is probably not complete – and should perhaps be looked upon as a constant “work in progress” as new possibilities for communication tools are constantly appearing.

Some of these communication tools may not previously have been used in self care promotion in your country or region – their addition to this list is both to signify the potential to look at new approaches and tools in the future and likewise to  inform you about experiences with other tools, that you may want to disregard in your development process.

We’ve divided the catalogue of tools into four segments below:
1. Personal
2. PR and existing massmedia
3. Digital/Multimedia
4. Printed

If you would like to be inspired by cases look at our section on cases from various countries and regions in the EU here.

1
Personal (events, conferences, courses etc.)

Using human resources and events are a great way of showing the value of self care and getting messages across. The challenge is both reaching people that are unaware of the challenge or unwilling to be interested – and also to create a long term effort that is not just preaching for the choir.

Personal (events, conferences, courses, etc.) – Indirect
Communications channel Good for Consider
1:1 meetings Engaging influencers/ stakeholders; building knowledge and trust; building or maintaining key relationships. The messages you want to give in the meeting and how to follow up to ensure the relationship is maintained.
Group meetings, workshops, conferences Listening; brainstorming; relationship building; building and sharing purpose; exchange of complex learning and information; building trust and loyalty; engaging early adopters. Time and cost resource: do participants have sufficient time/motivation to attend?
Timing and location: make it easy/appealing to attend or piggy back on existing meetings.
Train the trainer-courses Internal morale; stakeholder awareness; coordinated messages of high quality; relationship building Time and cost resource: developing “textbook”-material takes huge effort. Consider using existing concepts (or adaptations) – getting people to use more than one day can be hard to achieve.
Timing and location: With smaller groups you can repeat the same course many times – possibly also adapting to input from the attendees.
Launch events Internal morale; stakeholder awareness; can provide a hook for media coverage. Time and cost resource: do target audiences have sufficient interest/ motivation to attend?
Timing and location: make it easy/appealing to attend.
Media coverage: do you have something genuinely newsworthy?
National campaigns through self care professionals Internal morale; stakeholder awareness; can provide a hook for media coverage – and also to engage other decision makers. Time and cost resource: requires engaged professionals and perhaps years of repetition to get citizens activated Timing and location: can be easily managed timewise, but hard to control in location/substance – low control over actua events.
Media coverage: can you present the same message in new ways each time?
“The Experts Panel” Stakeholder awareness; good for media coverage; very responsive/identifiable – and also to engage other decision makers. Time and cost resource: requires a selection and managing of engaged professionals and needs a combination with PR efforts. Experts might participate for professional reasons but need administrative help to maintain structure.

 

Personal (events, conferences, courses, etc.) – Direct
Communications channel Good for Consider
The Self Care Support Team” Provides hooks for Media Coverage; Puts a human face on complex issues; Raises Awareness Relatively time/resource consuming to build and maintain – number of people reached directly will be low compared to resources used – but has huge potential for concrete human dialogue to convince members of target groups
Handout tools Interactive tools (calendars, calculators, digital devices) to help users not only perform self care but interact with professionals/others as well Development can be expensive – the more advanced the better for self care, but worse in terms of budget. Consider using other platforms (apps, smartphone) for distribution – but traditional, physical elements still has use.
Citizen Groups Relationship building; Direct interaction with target groups; Good way to gain feedback on other efforts Long term strategy – such groups work best by repeated sessions over several years to gain trust and feedback on several issues.

 

2
PR and existing massmedia

Using existing massmedia and trade media to engage your target groups and professionals alike can be a good way to raise awareness, inform about new practices, events, ideas, and get various messages out. However your message is not the only one trying to use this approach so care and effort are key to success – and should be combined with other communication efforts as well as interaction with readers / listeners / viewers is limited.

PR and existing massmedia
Communications channel Good for Consider
Media coverage (professional and consumer media) Credibility (a third-party endorsement) and reputation; internal morale; improving awareness; influencing political/social debates and agendas. Time and skills required; need to be able to respond to potential interest in very short timeframes; lack of ability to ‘control’ the message. Plan any media activity with the knowledge of senior sponsors and their communications leads.
Media coverage (e-zines and trade media) Credibility (a third-party endorsement) and reputation; internal morale; improving awareness; influencing professional debates and agendas. Time and skills required; better timeframes and more time to plan and go in-depth with topics – giving a somewhat better ability to ‘control’ the message. Fewer readers and perhaps more “already convinced” makes the potential for concrete change a bit different.
Generic texts / images Make it easier for other media to use your messages by providing generic texts (possibly with proper blanks), digital infographics, statistical material (explained) and similar easy-to-use supplementary press material. Provides a knowledge-based base for correct information about your topic. Can be time-consuming to produce, and need to be updated frequently. And though you need to ensure that sources are aware that such material exists you have little or no control over when, how, and where material will be used.
“Mr./Mrs. Expert An identifiable and recognizable expert to champion your message – a good way for you to gain trust in other media and for target groups to remember the message Requires a good communicator with the ability to explain complex issues easily and possibly in soundbites – thus willing to also be misquoted and critizised for the efforts.
Merchandise or display materials (posters, mouse mats, wall charts, Christmas cards, screensavers, pens, certificates, infographics) Longevity; visual impact; thanking and recognising supporters and celebrating success. Budget: is the cost justified? How will it be perceived by others?Developing tools that combine your message with useful content for your audience in a format they will use.
Adverts Communicating a strong, clear message; controlling how your message is received. Can you measure its effectiveness and justify the costs involved? Can the channel owner demonstrate good return on investment and data on the readership that reflects your audience?
Strategy for presenting new knowledge, results of surveys etc. Media work by calendars as well – by presenting good, relevant information, surveys, research results etc at relevant periods in a year (or study media planners guide to topics in the coming year / other relevant events) Survey/Research require planning and resources – with little or no guarantee of impact as other news stories might steal the show at the last minute.

 

3
Digital/Multimedia

Digital channels gives you the opportunity to distribute at a very low cost – or in interactive ways that other media cannot provide.

Digital
Communications channel Good for Consider
Social media (eg Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) Finding or creating networks with niche specialisation or
interests; building a profile; directing to
other communications (website or blog); brief, real-time updates; maintaining relationships; exchange of information/ learning; place for like-minded to interact; reaching early adopters.
Content: who will post and regularly update/ respond? Need to focus more time on reacting/ responding to others to build relationships.How can you use this to cross-promote other communications
(eg blogs).
Webinars / Streaming video Exchange of complex information or learning; maintaining relationships; project management among dispersed teams. Scheduling: think of a time likely to be convenient to most participants. Promoting: make sure people know about it and remind them. Organising: give it some leadership and structure. Ensure the content is engaging. Consider how streaming video might help you distribute the content or feel of existing events to others.
Website (and/or intranet sites) Credibility; demonstrating full range of work; attracting new members/ audiences; information exchange; accessibility. Time and cost resource for initial and ongoing development; ability to keep up to date; analytics for evaluating use/ impact. Consider creating a web page hosted on the website of the sponsor organisation/partners.
Film/animation Creating an emotional connection with a cause; telling stories that can illustrate complex issues; longevity (can be used more than once). Resource and budgets; how will you promote/ distribute/make it available to ensure return on investment?
Length: online films should be as short as possible (1-3 minutes as a general rule). And rememeber to tag any video – without tags the video is un-searchable by others and the content therefore isolated.
Games Gamification of your message or indeed the actual self care can provide good ways to engage new groups in a seemingly non-teaching manner. Resource and budgets; any game needs to be distributed, even through online-platforms. Depending on the type of game you will sometimes also need to reach a critical mass of players in order for the game to work.
Apps Facilitating information exchange; building a community. Giving concrete advice by push services Mobile phone apps (either as games, reminder-capable, information-content, a combination, or other setup) are a good way to give direct link and interaction with your target group. Building and updating apps can require a lot resources, however, and remember that you need other channels to support distribution.
Stories / Podcasts / Radio Voice media carries strong, compelling ways to deliver your message – either in the form of stories, debates, FAQs, or any other kind. It often gives you more time to explain. Resource and budgets; Recording is the easy part – you have to have a website, a Facebook-page, blog, or similar for distribution. A strategy for how many, how often, types of topics would help you in your production and interaction with users/contributors. Depending on type you can use quite different lengths, but try not to overestimate the will to listen.
Blogs Demonstrating expertise, learning and knowledge transfer; content for social media; can boost traffic to website; place for like- minded to interact. Content: a subject your audience cares about; a central point, argument or call to action.Promoting the blog through social media channels.Blogging through existing sites with an established audience.
Email Low cost, regular updates; driving traffic to website or blog. Writing style and visuals: emails are easy to delete. Ensure that the content and look of yours is audience-focused and stands out from crowd.
Mobile technology/SMS Flagging new content. Quick delivery of short, simple messages or tools. Is the content valued and does it address a genuine need? Advanced system might solve this as users are only giving information/response based on their specific needs and answers – this requires careful thought to plan and datamanage, but has a huge potential to target information only as needed.
Newsletters (e-news/hard copy) Keeping a defined group of people up to date with your activities; keeping in touch. Can you achieve more impact submitting content to existing newsletters run by others?
Online network Facilitating information exchange; building a community. Cloud-based and ListServ technology make this possible and affordable. Easy to set up groups through social media,eg LinkedIn, but they need to be actively maintained.

 

4
Printed

With a lot of digital media some physical elements may seem outdated and are certainly often more costly to produce and distribute. However the tangible qualities can make for more care in reading and understanding.

Printed
Communications channel Good for Consider
Leaflet, brochure, flyer, quick reference cards Longevity; visual impact; means of communicating quite detailed information; control of message/s. Resource for production and effective distribution (too often they are produced without sufficient thought/budget for distribution).
Letter Now more unusual/ distinctive than email; easy to personalise if small print run. Language, layout, audience focus – the usual principles for good communications apply.
Posters High visual impact if placement is right. In many cases users have very little time to read / understand the messages, so in terms of dissemination the effect can be small. Image, font, clarity, brevity – and some serious consideration as to expectations as to effect.
Books/Booklets Good for strong readers – though more graphics may help younger audiences and weak readers there are limits to this as easy-to-read books carry certain negative connotations (for adults) that may discourage them from the message. Can be fairly costly to produce – and print. But if produced in good quality to the right target group it may be a tool that is kept for many years.
Games/Competitions Just as digital games the idea of gamification of self care issues can be used to good effect – from simple role playing, advanced board games, use of game pieces to simplify the complex, or indirect competitions (small prizes or even social dimensions) can have strong motivation power. Depending on the game idea this can by costly to develop and produce. Results may often be found in basic understanding of issues rather than clear change.