Step 2 - Plan Your Activities
This section provides some tips on how to integrate your chosen campaign(s) into your STD Awareness Week activities. The following ideas illustrate a unique opportunity to reach and engage with consumers, health care providers, and organizations in your community. It is important to remember that your STD Awareness Week activities should ultimately support your organization’s goals. In addition to the information below, HIV.gov has a helpful planning guideexternal icon to assist you while planning for Awareness Day events, activities, and outreach. You also can visit the STD general resource page for links to fact sheets, infographics, and more STD resources.
Identify Your Audience and Primary Goal
Before deciding which activities to implement, be sure to identify who it is you’re aiming to reach and your primary goal (e.g., promote chlamydia testing among young women, educate health care providers about how congenital syphilis is impacting your community and specific actions they can take, etc.). Once you identify your audience and goal, you can explore the activities below to help formulate your plans.
Identify Your Activities
desktop alt solid icon Digital Campaigns
Digital campaigns are helpful if your goal is related to awareness and education. There are many mediums (e.g., social media platforms, your organization’s website, local media outlets) available to help you expand your reach to a broader audience. The CDC STD campaign that you select can supplement any existing digital activities you plan to implement, or it can be your primary activity.
- Tailor the campaign content to meet your needs.
- Insert local data where applicable
- Customize the sample content with information about local activities
- Make the campaign relevant to your audience
- Do not forget your call to action. For example, if you are sharing testing information from Talk. Test. Treat., connect people to a local testing center or CDC’s GetTested website.
- Think “Mobile First.” When creating content for social media, remember the phrase “Mobile First”! Over 70% of social media users access content using a smartphone. For more social media information and resources, visit CDC’s social media website.
- Use different digital platforms. Explore and use the features available on different digital platforms for creative ways to share campaign materials. Examples include:
- Instagram stories
- Posts on partner websites
- Email newsletter
- Twitter: chats, live tweeting, thunderclaps
- Amplify your messages through outreach. Spread the word about STD prevention to groups, such as your partners, local decision makers, or the general public.
microscope solid icon STD Testing Options
Innovative STD testing options are a key component for STD prevention. While the U.S. was already battling steep, sustained STD rates when facility-based services and in-person patient-clinician contact was limited by the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has provided us the opportunity to reimagine and expand ideas around phone, video, or online health care visits, in addition to in-person ones, and “at-home specimen collection.”
When thinking about what STD testing options and activities are right for you, it is essential to develop a project plan. Make sure your project plan includes:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Ways to measure success
If you are taking the lead on implementing a new testing option or activity, reach out to local organizations you can collaborate with for a more significant impact. You also may find that other organizations may already be planning similar activities. If so, consider joining forces or sharing plans for a coordinated effort.
- Engage your community. When it comes to STD prevention, we rely on many traditional and nontraditional partners (e.g., community organizations, health care providers, and businesses) to help achieve goals. Examine your network to determine whom to involve if you offer different options for STD testing and in what capacity.
- Promote your STD testing options! Use campaign graphics to create promotional materials like posters to advertise how you are providing STD testing services in your area (e.g., phone, online, or in person) that serve your intended audience. The GYT and Talk.Test.Treat. campaigns have a collection of materials you can use to help support these efforts.
- Educate people when they test. CDC’s STD Fact Sheets can be useful in this instance. Be sure to explore the campaign websites for links to other resources as well.
- Link people to care. If a person tests positive for an STD, make sure you have procedures in place to ensure they are made aware of their treatment options and next steps.
people icon Virtual Community Events
Whether it is a virtual town hall, concert or trivia event, a community event provides a unique opportunity to connect with many people for an extended amount of time. If you are not hosting an event, consider attending, promoting, or supporting partner events as a way to help spread your STD Awareness Week messages.
- Display your selected campaign(s).
- If your organization is planning the event, use materials from the campaigns to display at the event and share campaign information during the event.
- If you are working in partnership with another organization, supply relevant campaign materials as your organization’s contribution to the event or highlight the campaigns as a helpful resource.
- Tailor campaign content to meet your needs. You can combine sample messages from the campaigns with information about your event in promotional messages.
- Promote valuable resources. Virtual community event settings, where people can converse and engage with each other, would be an ideal place to share useful resources featured in this toolkit. There will be representation from numerous health professionals and organizations that may not be able to implement the campaigns but could benefit from other resources.
alert icon Closing
Remember, these are just some of the different activities you can do. You can focus on one or many activities depending on your capacity and goals. Since activities tend to overlap, the tips from each section can be helpful no matter what you decide to do.