How Digital Campaigns Can Help Reduce Infant Mortality Rates
You might be surprised to learn that the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is nearly double that of other developing countries. In 2014, the infant mortality rate was 6.1 deaths per 1,000 babies born – that’s among the highest compared to 25 other countries including Hungary, Poland, the U.K and Australia.
As a major public health issue, infant mortality issues are top-of-mind for city, county and statewide leaders – all working to answer the question: Why is this happening here, and how can we reduce the rate?
Primary Causes of Infant Mortality in the U.S.:
- In about 15 percent of infant mortality cases, sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is the cause of death.
- One in about 33 babies are born in the U.S. with a birth defect.
- Preterm birth (babies born before 37 weeks) are now 1 in every 10 babies born in the U.S.
- Additionally, pregnancy issues or injuries to infants within their first year of life can contribute to infant mortality rates.
When addressing birth outcomes, organizations across the country are looking at ways to improve pre and post-natal care. On a national level, public health officials are coordinating on major initiatives to helps doctors and nurses improve health outcomes for infants.
But some leaders – primarily on the local, county and state levels – are wondering: What can we be doing right now to start addressing the issue in our community?
The Answer: Better Access to Information for Citizens.
While pregnancy outcomes can be impacted by a number of genetic characteristics or family history, learning about preconception, prenatal and postnatal health of the mother and of their baby can be a determining factor in preventing higher infant mortality rates.
A digital campaign on infant mortality rates is a great way to expand your audience and reach citizens who need information to reduce their health risks.
Steps to a Successful Digital Campaign
Step 1: Define Your Outcome
Does your organization have a specific goal around infant mortality? Start by asking:
- Should we set up a defined goal around reducing infant mortality rates in our community?
- Are there certain areas we need to target?
- What type of engagement are we looking for from citizens?
Step 2: Expand Your Reach
Then, identify where you’re starting in terms of your audience reach. How many subscribers do you have in your database? In other words, how many people are listening to messages on infant mortality?
Then, grow your lists to expand your reach. Here are 10 easy steps to increasing your subscriber base in our latest checklist.
Step 3: Choose the Right Channels
By ensuring there is way to intake information on how and where to report activity that could be tied to infant mortality, your community can be able to act quickly.
- Communications Cloud: By far, email is the most effective digital tool for connecting with larger audiences. We’ve helped organizations increase their reach by 4,000 percent.
- Interactive Text Messaging: A recent report found that a higher U.S. mortality rate is due “entirely, or almost entirely, to high mortality among less advantaged groups.” With over 90 percent of Americans owning a cell phone, text messaging could be a highly effective way to reach those in your audience who don’t have access to email.
- Targeted Messaging: Want to track transactional messages (sign up here, volunteer, fill out this form, etc.)? Targeted messaging helps deliver and track transactional emails and text messages for web applications.
Step 4: Develop Messaging Based on Audience
It’s important to remember that one message may not work for your full audience. By segmenting your lists based on your key audiences, develop messaging specifically for those communications tracks. Here is an example of how you might separate your audience:
Who to target:
- Medical professionals: Seek to educate on meaningful ways to improve prenatal care.
- Parents: Connect on preconception health and what to watch for during the first year of their child’s life.
- Citizens: Gain visibility to the issue by providing a monthly digital newsletter or blog post elevating the needs to engage on the issue.
Step 5: Connect with Citizens and Drive Outcomes
Campaigns are an ongoing process – think rinse, wash, repeat. There are strategic capabilities within the GovDelivery system that allows you to segment your audiences, target them with specific and transactional messaging, and convert them into action-oriented citizens.
All digital campaigns are meant to increase awareness, but ultimately we’re working towards impacting lives of our community members, and ensure they have access to important information that may affect them.
Want to learn more about how you can develop a campaign in your community? Contact with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect with you right away.