The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice provides everything from social marketing tools and templates to example campaigns that highlight best practices.
Social Marketing and Public Health Lessons from the Field: A Guide to Social Marketing, produced by the Social Marketing National Excellence Collaborative, provides an overview of social marketing and detailed case studies of several campaigns.
Once you have marketed your program and recruited participants, it is beneficial to take steps to promote participant retention. It is unlikely that every participant who begins a program will complete it. In fact, it is common for lifestyle intervention programs to have attrition rates (the percentage of participants who do not finish the program) in the 20-30% range. In other words, two or three of every 10 participants may leave the program before it is completed. There are strategies you can use to increase the number of participants who complete the program. Several of these are described below.
Attendance rates reflect the success of recruitment and retention efforts. Organizations sometimes mistakenly assume that high attendance rates also indicate the success of a program. Given that the purpose of health promotion programs is generating positive health outcomes, the only way to accurately determine if the intended outcomes have been achieved is through evaluation. Attendance should be valued because it is in attending the program that participants are exposed to activities and lessons designed to benefit their health and well-being. It is only in evaluating program outcomes; however, that the impact of a program can be determined (see Evaluation Planning for more information).