Developing a Social Marketing Plan for Violence Prevention in Santa Clara County

Dates: 2013-2014

State: California

Client(s): Santa Clara County, Public Health Department

Service: Health Communication

Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health, Healthy Communities, Health Disparities


The Santa Clara County (SCC) Public Health Department (PHD) has identified injury and violence prevention as one of their three local “winnable battles” by 2015, along with obesity prevention and tobacco prevention. With SCC being a large and diverse county of approximately 1.8 million residents, there is a significant need for effective efforts to prevent violence among youth in the county. Data on the County indicates that youth experience a range of violence and help perpetuate violence through participation in gangs, physical abuse, dating violence, bullying (in-person and cyber bullying), domestic-violence related deaths, and juvenile domestic violence. Disparities on violence in the county disproportionately affect certain communities. The county has identified black/African American and Hispanic/Latino youth ages 12-18 years old as the priority populations for social marketing activities to be addressed in the social marketing plan, with healthy relationships as an overarching theme.
JSI used a community-based social marketing approach to develop a social marketing plan targeting violence prevention, focused on three areas of violence including domestic violence, bullying, and gang violence. JSI’s approach to develop a social marketing plan for violence was comprised of four key stages. JSI conducted an environmental scan of local and national violence prevention social marketing activities and campaigns. JSI also conducted research with local stakeholders and members of the target audiences on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of violence.
As a result of stakeholder engagement and knowledge gained via the environmental scan, JSI developed a social marketing implementation plan. The last stage of our approach included delivering an implementation plan that articulated goals, strategies, delivery methods, messages, outcomes, and an evaluation plan. With an approach grounded in behavior change theories, the goal of this project was to develop a plan that reduces the incidences of violence in the county and inspires others to take action.