In 2018, national HIV Awareness Days continue to offer the opportunity to reach target audiences and often raise awareness for groups disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV, seek, or return to care.
To help with your awareness day planning, the HIV.gov team has updated our Activities Planning Guide. Here are some highlights from the new guide.
- Awareness Day events can require a significant amount of effort (such as staff time and resources). It is important to be able to describe specifically how the Awareness Day aligns with your organization’s mission and what outcomes you can achieve from an event. Whether or not your organization decides to host an event, it is useful to consider partnering with other HIV organizations and like-minded organizations beyond the HIV community.
- Defining success before an event is an important way to assess your outcomes. Some examples of success measures include:
- Number of HIV tests administered
- Increased patient visits (e.g., patient appointments made)
- Increased visibility for your organization (e.g., social media metrics, website metrics)
- Strengthened partner relationships (e.g., new partnerships formed, number and depth of partner collaborations)
- Identify which channels you want to use to reach your target audience. Make sure you use data about your target audience(s) and the communication tools they use in their daily lives to inform your selection.Consider your organization’s owned (content you fully control), earned (exposure you receive via word-of-mouth marketing), and paid media (exposure you receive through paid advertising) options.
- Evaluation begins with checking with your stakeholders/clients before planning an event/activity. You need to know whether they are interested (or could be with the right messaging!) before you expend a lot of effort developing an event or activities. Your stakeholders may no longer respond to messaging about a specific Awareness Day or only a subgroup of your audience may be very interested. Every event/activity should have an evaluation component.
Why Planning Matters
We asked Luis Alberto Mares, LMSW, Director of Community Mobilization Programs, Latino Commission on AIDS for his perspective on the importance of planning Awareness Day activities.
“When we make time to do good planning in advance, what we are doing is bringing the future into today. This means we are not just doing something, we are doing our best in our efforts. Therefore planning ahead at the Latino Commission on AIDS for the awareness campaigns for both National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD - October 15th every year), and the National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day (NHHAD - every May 15th), is key and basic in order for us to meet our goals and reach our communities the best we can.
Preparing in advance for NLAAD and NHHAD and the campaign resources we provide allows us to generate a theme that conveys the message that we want to deliver to our community, revise it and make the necessary changes before we launch our campaigns. It also gives us time to make the necessary connections with community-based organizations (CBOs) around the country and spread the campaign in a timely manner, making it possible to have a productive and successful National Awareness Day.”
Get More Help
For more help planning for Awareness Days, sign-up for a one-on-one technical assistance session with an HIV.gov team member and check out these recent blog posts:
- Reporting Live (Video) from HIV/AIDS Awareness Days
- Twitter Fast Forward: Increasing Reach Potential
- Awareness Day Promotion: Should You Be Using Videos?
- Five Tips for a Successful Awareness Day Twitter Chat
- End the Epidemic, In Part by Digital Communication
Be sure to visit the HIV.gov Awareness Day pages as you use the planning guide.