Building Resources for Effective Public Awareness Campaigns: A Toolkit for Practice

The purpose of this toolkit is to assist Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) State Lead Agencies (SLAs) and their partners in developing effective public awareness campaigns using common approaches such as storytelling and promoting social norms to strengthen prevention initiatives that prevent child abuse and neglect.  This toolkit does not include specific promotional materials, case studies, or sample letters that you may find in other public awareness campaign toolkits.  This toolkit is about the process in developing an effective public awareness campaign.  Each section includes information, specific process examples from CBCAP state leads, and links to resources.  We hope you find this toolkit helpful in your work and look forward to your feedback, including suggestions, examples to be added, and information to make the toolkit more useful.  If you have any questions or feedback, please contact 

Are Public Awareness Campaigns Effective?

Research conducted in the areas of health prevention and promotion has found public awareness campaigns to be effective, but effectiveness depends…on a lot of factors.


Examine the landscape to determine if your public awareness campaign relates to other active initiatives at the local, regional, state, or national level.

Determine Your
Target Audience

Who do you hope to reach with the campaign?

Theoretical Models

You can use theoretical models or frameworks to inform the development of successful public awareness campaigns

Tailor the Message to the Target Audience

Messaging presents facts about the key issue to educate the individual, community, or society. Your audience may vary in terms of knowledge of the topic.

Multiple Communication Methods

The approach shown to be most effective for child abuse prevention and education campaigns is the multifaceted approach.

Invest Time and Resources in Evaluation

A strong evaluation can reveal the impacts of the public awareness campaign and improve future campaign efforts.

Examples of Public Awareness Toolkits

Seeking specific examples of Public Awareness /Communication Toolkits?

Final Thoughts

The ability of CBCAP Leads and their partners to communicate the prevention of child abuse and neglect clearly and convincingly is one of the many activities authorized under CBCAP.

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