A major lesson learned by Louisiana Spirit is that a program cannot afford to underestimate the importance of media when trying to impart services across broad, widespread populations. Additionally, marketing efforts need to be relatable and compelling to the intended audience in order to overcome any cultural stigma or resistance to seeking behavioral health services. Louisiana Spirit devised a three-phase advertising campaign to maximize its reach and appeal to a broad array of people. The phases were designed to promote a mission of Engagement, Empowerment, and Recovery.
- Phase One: Immediate Aftermath—In this phase, the program’s intention was to reinforce that survivor stress is normal and expected. Print and television advertisements were developed to acknowledge the immediate aftermath of the storm and survivor reactions and feelings. Catch phrases used to peak viewer attention included "You’re not crazy," and "Hope is the enemy of despair."
- Phase Two: Access to Services—This phase revolved around color advertisements that focused on recovery and the encouraged survivors to reach out to Louisiana Spirit and the services it provided. Graphic treatments included the sun rising after the storm and faces of individuals in the recovery stage. Print advertisements were placed in newspapers and billboards across the State. Brochures, door hangers, and informational cards were distributed by field staff on a daily basis and at various events, with the intent to saturate the market with as much information about the program as possible.
- Phase Three: Community Involvement—This phase focused on messaging about the importance of community cohesion and its impact on successful recovery. Full color advertisements were disseminated within communities. The Unsung Heroes (pdf, 15.2MB) project also helped promote this principle.
LESSON #1Comprise a Staff That is Meaningful and Relatable to the Community
LESSON #2Develop a Cohesive Media Campaign to Effectively Advertise Program Services to the Appropriate Audiences