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How do we market prevention messages to engage parents and caregivers?

Helping prevent birth defects and developmental disabilities

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) is charged with protecting America’s most vulnerable, including babies, children, and people with blood disorders or disabilities.

Today, the majority of parents and caretakers turn to social media for parenting-related information and social support. NCBDDD asked Westat to help leverage digital and social media to reach and engage these audiences.

  • Westat developed a comprehensive health communication strategy that addresses emerging digital trends.
  • We helped guide enhancements to NCBDDD’s brand positioning. 
  • We identified and engaged digital ambassadors to help disseminate evidence-based awareness and prevention messages.
  • We connect online publishers with NCBDDD experts to inform the development of content on birth defects and developmental disabilities that publishers can share with their readers.
  • We create issues management reports to keep NCBDDD leadership informed of online conversations on topics of interest.
  • We provide onsite media training for NCBDDD scientists.

In the first 18 months of the project, Westat has run 10 activations with more than 50 influencers across a wide variety of topic areas to support the broad dissemination of ​NCBDDD's messages.

  • Topics supported have included raising awareness of Birth Defects Prevention Month, disseminating Zika prevention messages during the summer months, changing the conversation around the role of fathers in healthy pregnancy, and disseminating information about preparedness planning as children are headed back-to-school. 
  • These activations have generated more than 90 million impressions for NCBDDD messages.

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