5 Reasons Why Awareness Campaigns Fail

Awareness Campaigns

A lot of non-profit organizations use different tools to raise awareness and rally support for certain causes and issues. One of these tools is an awareness campaign, which typically aims to educate the public and gain new donors. These campaigns can include fundraising events, ambassador campaigns, and viral challenges.

Although most awareness campaigns are geared toward a good cause, they don’t always equate to positive results. In fact, it’s quite common to get awareness campaigns wrong. 

If you’re planning your organization’s next awareness campaign, it’s wise to take note of the reasons why they fail. To ensure your efforts’ success, here are some common pitfalls you need to avoid. 

5 Dominant Reasons That Make Awareness Campaigns Fail

1. The Campaign’s Objective Is Too Narrow

Many people involved in an organization’s awareness campaign often fail because the goal isn’t clear or is too narrow. While raising awareness is one of the purposes of your efforts, it shouldn’t be your only focus. There are more things you can do with the awareness campaign to ensure its success.

You can expand your reach to a whole new audience to gain new supporters. Apart from the cause, you can tap individuals who share your organization’s beliefs and values. 

Another goal you can include is educating more people about the current events your organization is holding and how they are relevant to your efforts.

Lastly, you can put engagement as part of your campaign’s goals. This is when you solicit a low-level action that will benefit your organization or cause. For example, selling or giving away promotional items like silicone wristbands with the logo of your organization can help you raise funds and increase awareness.

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2. There’s No Concrete Follow-Up Action Plan

2. There’s No Concrete Follow-Up Action Plan

Regardless of the cause or issue, you must view raising awareness as a tool to convert potential supporters from simply being interested into taking action.

Aside from educating the public about the cause or organization, you must also offer specific action steps on how your supporters can help or become more active. For instance, you can ask people to sign up for the newsletter so that they’ll continuously be updated with your organization’s events or efforts.

This will incentivize them to participate the next time you hold an event since they’re more aware of what your organization is doing.

If you want a more impactful and sustainable action plan, choosing small acts that will increase in intensity or commitment over time is a good idea. Typically, these kinds of efforts eventually lead to concrete support for your organization or cause. Some examples of these types of support are active volunteerism or donations.

3. Organization Neglect to Discuss the Challenges of the Cause

3. Organization Neglect to Discuss the Challenges of the Cause

Many organizations spend a lot of time talking about their advocacy but sometimes fail to discuss the issues revolving around the cause that they represent.

If you want your awareness campaign to be successful, make sure to talk about the issues and challenges facing the cause that your organization is supporting. By informing people about the value of the work your organization does, they’ll more likely to become engaged and get involved.

Remember, your goal is to make people aware of the issues and let them know what you’re doing to address them. You want people to care about the issue and the cause. Once they are engaged, you can propose various ways that they can support your group.

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4. The Message Isn’t Crafted for the Target Audience

If you want your target audience to care about your organization, you need to make sure you’re sending a message they’ll be able to understand. While awareness campaigns involve educating the general public, make sure to stay away from jargon that only a few people will comprehend.

If, for example, your awareness campaign aims to inform more people about a certain medical illness, make sure to use non-medical explanations that everyone can easily understand. While it’s still important to use the proper terms, make sure to craft the messages in a way that will make people want to get involved and not alienate individuals who may want to give their support.  

Also, when using external resources, make sure to include them in the message in a creative and interesting manner. Often, relying on official data alone can make the content bland—which can lose the interest of your audience.

5. There Are No Metrics in Place to Track Campaign Progress

5. There Are No Metrics in Place to Track Campaign Progress

The reason some awareness campaigns fail is that there aren’t any metrics placed to measure or they forget to monitor the effort. This commonly happens when the goal of the campaign isn’t properly defined or the goal is too narrow.

For instance, if you’re utilizing social media for your awareness campaign, you can monitor the platform’s impression counts, engagement scores, and post likes to measure engagement.

However, these metrics don’t always provide a clear picture of whether the audience becomes more knowledgeable about your cause. If you want something more specific, assess what other purpose you want the campaign to serve.

Is it a step towards getting new supporters? Do you need to collect a certain amount? In these cases, you can use the target number of people or funds as a metric to monitor the success of the campaign.

While determining and placing the appropriate metrics takes more work, it helps put a solid measurement process. It also allows you to see which parts of the campaign are working and which aren’t, as well as how else you can improve your efforts.

Even if most causes or organizations have good intentions when it comes to their awareness campaigns, these don’t guarantee that their efforts will yield positive results. A lot of campaigns fail due to different reasons. Fortunately, you can avoid these common mistakes by taking heed of the points discussed above and you’ll surely be able to make your next campaigns successful.

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