How-to Guides

SBC How-to Guides are short guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform core social and behavior change tasks. From formative research through monitoring and evaluation, these guides cover each step of the SBC process, offer useful hints, and include important resources and references. Clicking on any of the links below will take you to the Global Compass.

Formative research is an activity conducted at the beginning of the SBCC project design process. It is used to gain insight into the health issue or behavior the project intends to address; relevant characteristics of primary and secondary audiences; communication access, habits and preferences; and the main drivers of behavior.

Indicators are tools used to measure Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) program progress. They are used to assess the state of a program by defining its characteristics or variables, and then tracking changes in those characteristics over time or between groups. Clear indicators are the basis of any effective monitoring and evaluation system.

An organization’s mission statement describes clearly and concisely why the organization exists – its purpose. The mission statement defines what is important to the organization and guides the organization’s decisions and activities. It answers questions about whom the organization serves and what, why and how the organization does what it does.

A stakeholder workshop is one way to engage stakeholders – those who are affected by, have a direct interest in, or are somehow involved with the problem identified during the situation analysis - and gatekeepers – those who control access to people or resources needed – when developing a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy. The program team invites stakeholders and gatekeepers to a short workshop to seek their input on the proposed program or to achieve consensus.

Audience insight refers to an understanding of the emotional motivations and needs of the audience. An insight goes beyond descriptive demographic data, such as age, gender or income level, and describes a key piece of information about how the audience feels in relation to a specific product, service or behavior. An audience insight statement is comprised of two fundamental components: A summary of the understanding of the audience’s identified needs, and the key problem they have faced trying to fulfill this need.

Brand positioning is the identification and promotion of the most important and unique benefit that the product/service/behavior represents in the mind of the audience. It identifies what is unique and compelling about the brand, and how the brand is different from the competition. Positioning helps an SBCC program be perceived in a positive light by the audience. Positioning, however, is ‘behind the scenes.’ While it guides the marketing strategy, it is never explicitly stated in external marketing materials.

The brand personality is a description of the brand, expressed in two to four adjectives, as if it were a person, such as friendly, bold, smart or confident. The personality is used to shape the tone and voice for all brand communication, including advertisements, packaging and the brand name. Brand execution is the material components of a brand – logos, colors, fonts, the ‘look and feel’ – that differentiate a brand in the mind of the audience. Execution is designed to take the product, service or behavior, and create a desired image and perception around it. The executional elements should complement the brand positioning and personality. Developing the executional elements is the last step in developing a brand strategy.

A creative concept is an overarching “Big Idea” that captures audience interest, influences their emotional response and inspires them to take action. It is a unifying theme that can be used across all campaign messages, calls to action, communication channels and audiences. Typically, the creative concept is embodied in a headline, tagline and a key visual. Successful creative concepts are distinctive, memorable, unifying and relevant. Some examples include: Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, the “Got Milk?” campaign and the Red Ribbon Campaign.

Concept testing is the process of sharing creative concepts with the intended audience to get their feedback and identify the best idea before designing materials (See the How to Develop a Creative Concept guide). Results from creative concept testing help the creative team to revise concepts, drop ones that do not resonate well with the audience and identify the ones the audience likes best. Sometimes none of the concepts is appropriate for the audience. In these cases, the creative team returns to brainstorming, keeping in mind lessons learned from the concept tests.

A communication strategy is the critical piece bridging the situation analysis and the implementation of a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program. It is a written plan that details how an SBCC program will reach its vision, given the current situation. Effective communication strategies use a systematic process and behavioral theory to design and implement communication activities that encourage sustainable social and behavior change.

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