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407 How to speak so today’s parents will listen
  1. Martha Wilcox,
  2. Line Storgaard-Conley
  1. Safe Kids Worldwide, USA


Background To help families protect children from injury, we have to reach them in channels they are tuning into using messages that resonate. Today’s parents are getting much of their information through channels that didn’t exist ten years ago. Safe Kids has undergone a messaging transformation, changing our tone, simplifying our messaging for low-literacy audiences and building new media channels to connect with parents.

We conducted a series of focus groups among mothers and grandmothers.We recruited from two populations: low literacy and average literacy. The topic was medication safety.

We also tested several types of posts on Facebook, tracking engagement.

Objective The objective of this session is to educate injury professionals on strategies for connecting with today’s families.

The culture of communications has changed dramatically in the last ten years. As safety experts, we need to evolve how we reach today’s families.

Results We learned the best way to present messages to parents so they are intrigued to learn more. We also learned when it helps to include statistics and when parents tune statistics out.

To address channels, we tested several social media strategies to determine which ones deliver the best results. Our success is evident in our growth. In just four years, our Facebook page has grown from 35,000 likes to more than 1,000,000 likes.

Conclusions To impact the culture of safety, we need to understand the culture of communicating to today’s parents so we can meet parents where they are. Safe Kids Worldwide is eager to share what we have learned about tone, messaging and communications channels. In conversations at past conferences with injury professionals around the world, we believe this is a topic of universal interest and essential for connecting with families to reduce injuries in children in the future.

  • Communications
  • social media
  • messaging

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