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Plan your campaign

Deciding objectives

Before you develop the specific message of your campaign, and the necessary supporting arguments, you need to have a clear goal in mind.

Having a clear goal will help you to:

  • Formulate a better message.
  • Structure your campaign.
  • Allow you to check how successful your efforts have been after the campaign.

Keep your goal fairly specific and realistic, taking into account the resources you have available. Here are some parameters that might help you establish your objective:

  • Media Coverage – ‘I’d like my campaign to be published in the key OSH titles in my country’.
  • Change of behaviour from target audience – ‘I’d like to encourage my employees to wear safety protection at all times’.
  • Number of people reached by campaign – ‘I’d like to attract 500 Facebook fans’.

Once you decide on your objectives, you can then determine how best to reach them.

Choosing a title

To have a chance at making an impact on the people you want to reach, your title should be as short and simple as possible and relevant to your target audience.

It should be:

  • Catchy
  • Memorable
  • Easy to understand
  • Jargon free

The title should to be tailored to your audience. Depending on whether you are targeting senior management or factory workers directly, the message, the arguments you use and the tone, will all be different.

Selecting the audience

Knowing your target audience and age range will determine your campaign and the tools needed.

It will of course also influence the tone of your campaign and the arguments you need to put forward to convince your audience.

Think carefully about the audience you wish to reach and the communications tools that will best reach them in their daily/professional lives. For example:

  • A young public audience would typically be best reached through online communications.
  • OSH Decision makers would be best reached through professional specialist press.


Timing is a key factor in any campaign, both in terms of when to launch the campaign and the campaign duration.

The decision on both of these factors depends on:

  • The time available to the necessary internal resources, and the period of the year when they are likely to be most available.
  • How much money you have.
  • Whether you want to communicate time sensitive info (launch of a report).
  • If there are any external events that you need to take into consideration.
  • How long you will need to reach your target audience effectively.

Geographic area

Choose which sectors or geographic area will be included

Most OSH campaigns tend to focus on a specialised target audience (managers in a specific industry field, trade unions, OSH specialists, etc.). Think carefully about the specific sector and the tools that will best reach your target audience within that sector.

Geographical reach is also important. Think about where your target audience is based, then decide if you need to focus on regional or national media or if you can focus on geographically restricted tools such as events.


Think carefully about the main campaign message and what you are trying to communicate through your campaign.

You should be able to summarise your message in simple terms, relevant to your target audience:

For example: Don’t use your mobile phone while driving.

Once you have your message you will need to have supporting arguments to explain in greater depth why the target audience should listen to you. This is where you underline the depth of the problem, possibly backing your evidence with some statistical data and demonstrating the beneficial effects of the changes you are asking for.

Supporting messages for the safe driving example above could include:

  • Driving while using a mobile phone is not only illegal but it is also dangerous.
  • If you are caught using your mobile phone while on the road, you not only risk losing your licence and your job, but you could cause a serious accident.
  • Using a mobile phone, even hands-free, creates a significant accident risk both to you and other road users.
  • One in twenty road traffic accidents are caused by mobile phone usage.
  • If you need to make a business call, pull-over to a safe location to give it your full attention.

Branding your campaign

A catchy slogan, a striking logo and campaign branding can be used to grab your audience’s attention.

Keep it short, simple and relevant to your target audience.

They must immediately understand its importance and what you are asking them to do and why.

Consider the message and tone of your campaign and reflect this in your branding, for example:

  • If you’re reaching a professional audience, keep your materials professional.
  • If you’re reaching a younger audience, the message could me more informal.

Reaching your audiences

Most campaigns involve several media, from press releases and magazine articles to posters and direct mail shots.

The precise mix will be determined by your target audience, as well as financial and time considerations. Possibilities include:

  • Publicity leaflets, posters for use in the workplace
  • Advertisements (in press, TV, radio or cinema or posters on hoardings, bus, metro)
  • Press activities – press releases, interviews, participation in TV or radio programmes
  • Guides and brochures
  • Newsletters
  • Seminars, workshops, conferences
  • Training
  • Telephone advice
  • Workplace visits
  • Direct mail
  • Exhibitions

Define your expected results

Communication is most effective when it is related to something practical and tangible.

Think about how you might measure the success of your campaign and incorporate an evaluation system into your campaign before you launch it.

Qualitative Evaluation measures public perception of your campaign. It doesn’t offer hard figures but does help understand the impact of your campaign, for example, a shift in attitude among your target audience.

Qualitative measures:

  • Email/online survey
  • Phone interviews
  • On the spot interviews

Quantitative Evaluation measures your campaign reach and visibility.

Quantitative measures are easier to present as results. Quantitative Evaluation success can be measured by:

  • Your campaign reach: How many people heard your message?
  • Your campaign visibility: How much of visibility did you achieve through the media? How many articles, reports etc. did your campaign generate?