Tobacco in any form is harmful for humans. Considered more addictive then even alcohol, tobacco is certainly a nuisance for humans. While health risks are high among heavy smokers and smokeless tobacco consumers (chewing tobacco and snuff), even non-smokers, both children and adults, can be harmed by second hand tobacco smoke generated by other people’s smoking.
It is a common sight at offices to see employees taking frequent smoking breaks. This practice not only hampers the employees’ good health but may have a negative impact on their career growth too. Even businesses are suffering; according to a study for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), smoking breaks cost employers £1,815 a year for each full-time employee who smoke during working hours.
As a communications professional in your organization, if you want to generate awareness on the ill effects of using tobacco, here is a strategic communication plan which you might find helpful in formulating your own:
Strategic internal communication plan – the essentials
Purpose: Generate awareness on the ill effects of using tobacco
Target audience: Employees
Communication tools: Desktop wallpapers, banners, intranet and video
Key message or slogan: “SAY NO TO TOBACCO”
Time period: Approximately 5 weeks
Measurement: Online survey
Week 1: Period of preparation
- Meeting with senior management and possibly the CEO for their consent to initiate this campaign.
- Meeting with IT, Admin and Marketing team for their support in preparing relevant materials and flashing them at strategic locations.
- A short video (approximately 3 – 4 minutes) of oral cancer survivors explaining the ordeal they went through to be downloaded from internet.
- 4 desktop wallpapers to be prepared with witty messages and attractive graphics. However, the chosen slogan, “SAY NO TO TOBACCO” should be maintained on all the desktop wallpapers, to ensure a consistent message is sent out. Since a desktop wallpaper just sits and sticks on the PC, it acts as a very effective and non-intrusive way to communicate a message.
- About 4-5 A3 size banners to be prepared with eye catchy graphics, the chosen slogan and relevant message. About 10 copies should be printed for each of this banner.
- 4 articles, highlighting the ill effects of using tobacco and possible ways to get rid of this habit to be prepared.
Week 2: Period of implementation
- The first desktop wallpaper to be flashed on employees’ computer screens. Thereafter, a different wallpaper will be flashed each week until the last day.
- A3 size banners to be pasted on all the strategic locations of the office e.g. in lift, corridors, cafeteria, entrance and exit gates etc.
- Article to be posted on intranet; with an option to comment anonymously (comments should be moderated).
- The short video to be posted on the intranet, with a view to give the viewers a realistic perception of the terrible evils of consuming tobacco.
Week 3 – 5: Period of continuation
- New desktop wallpaper to be continued to be flashed on employee’s PC for the remaining weeks.
- New article to be continued to be posted on intranet for the remaining weeks.
- The short video should continue to be present on the intranet until the last day.
Week 5: Period of introspection
- An online survey to be conducted to measure the efficacy of this anti-tobacco awareness campaign. However, expecting overnight results among employees will be an utopian thought, hence expectations should be kept minimal. The result should be duly communicated to the senior management for their perusal.
Please note, the above mentioned strategic communication plan will definitely need to be tweaked according to your organization; however, I believe it would have given you enough ideas to succeed in this noble endeavor to run an anti-tobacco campaign on your own in your organization.