What Is It?
Communication channels that can reach large audiences, such as radio, TV, newspapers, the Internet and billboards. When used effectively, mass media campaigns can generate considerable demand for family planning.
Studies have documented a strong relationship between exposure to family planning messages in the media and contraceptive use. Such exposure can increase people’s knowledge about contraceptive methods and dispel myths and misconceptions. See, for example, how Kenya’s Jongo Love radio program helped urban communities overcome family planning myths.
Multiple mass media platforms can be used, depending on local knowledge, attitudes and practices and evidence shows that using a mix of channels works best. Before developing a mass media campaign, it is important to understand the local family planning environment so messages can be tailored to address specific issues of your intended audience.
After receiving TCI coaching support, local governments across all hub geographies tend to be most comfortable and willing to leverage community radio programming and talk shows to promote FP/RH messages. See this example from Nigeria where Plateau state was able to secure free media air time for FP messaging. In addition, TCI has found civil society organizational partners and youth champions often leverage their own social media channels, creating self-inspired content, upon receiving an initial orientation from TCI on the benefits of FP and advocacy training.
What Are the Benefits?
- Engages the audience through multiple media channels
- Significantly increases exposure to family planning messages
- Has the potential to reach large audiences
- Can help address myths and misconceptions about family planning by providing factual information
- Can be highly creative
- Starts a conversation about family planning at the household and community levels
- Can be instrumental in generating demand for family planning services
How to Implement?
Assess the community’s family planning environment
This can be accomplished using focus groups, household surveys, social mapping and other methods. See an example of a mass media campaign implementation process from the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), which used a number of assessment methods.
Design a communication plan or strategy
Design your strategy based on a social and behavioral science theory or framework. The strategy will include communication objectives, audience segmentation, program approaches, channel recommendations, a workplan and a monitoring and evaluation plan.
Create, test and produce mass media materials and programs
Develop the program’s communication products. These could include mass media and print materials, participatory processes, trainings and more. In this step you will combine art and science–the creative and artistic vision needed to move audiences and inspire them to change will meet the analysis, theory and strategic decisions of the strategy/plan. You will also test your ideas and designs with your intended audience(s) to ensure that the messages are clear and actionable.
Implement and monitor the mass media campaign
Building off of the successful brand of NURHI’s “Get It Together” campaign, TCI works with States to adapt and air radio spots.
Francophone West Africa launched its “Je choisis” umbrella communication campaign in Abomey-Calavi and UCOZ on World Contraception Day (September 26, 2019). It produced two radio spots to encourage men and women to choose FP and inform the public of available FP services. The messages in the radio spots were then converted into posters featuring local figures from each city.
In Nigeria and East Africa, TCI supports local government and community stakeholders to leverage community radio programs to get messages out about family planning and AYSRH.
In India, TCI designed a mass media campaign with state governments, which launched in 2020.
TCI is collecting household level surveys in a sample of its locations to assess the impact of these messages on women of reproductive age, and especially youth.
Review, evaluate and redesign subsequent mass media programs
Evaluate the reach and effects of each mass media program to see which ones successfully reached your target audience(s). Adjust future programs based on the evidence of impact evaluation for specific media forms and messaging.
What Is the Evidence?
- Exposure to mass media programs increases contraceptive method use. As one example, recent media exposure to NURHI family planning messages was found to predict use of modern methods after controlling for relevant factors.
- MLE’s midterm survey found that women in Kenya who were exposed to a mass media/communication activity were 18% more likely to adopt a modern contraceptive method than women not exposed.
- More than 57% of women in NURHI project cities with knowledge of family planning had received family planning messages through radio. Read more about NURHI’s radio drama success story.
- Radio programs in Nigeria helped reduce religious and social barriers as well as myths and misconceptions. For example, the percentage of women who approved of religious leaders speaking publicly about family planning increased from 56.8% to 71.5%, and the percentage who received peer support for family planning rose from 22.8% to 42.1% between baseline (2010) and endline (2015).
- In Senegal, magazine and journal articles about family planning had a significant impact on men’s approval of modern contraception methods.