4.2.7. Determining the best timing for delivering messages

Identifying the most feasible time to deliver your messages is important and needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. You may wish to choose specific times of year to conduct more proactive rabies prevention outreach (in the form of a campaign), whereas during outbreaks, you may need to rely on rapid risk communication (e.g. there may be more rabies exposures in certain months if there is seasonal transmission).

Rabies prevention and control messaging lends itself well to being included with the global World Rabies Day initiatives in September. In the Philippines, the month of March was enacted by national law as Rabies Awareness Month, and activities to raise awareness on rabies prevention and control were held in the different parts of the country. However, rabies exposures in some places may be more prevalent in the summer months, warranting rapid communication during times of greater or mass exposure. More than one time of year can be selected.

How can you determine the best timing for delivering the message?

To determine the best timing for delivering rabies prevention and control messages in your area, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What time of year do most rabies cases occur?
  • Are there other events during that time period which would conflict with rabies messages?
  • Are there other events during that time period that would complement rabies prevention and control messages?
  • Could rabies messages be promoted during the same time period as other public health messages?
  • Could your messages be promoted during World Rabies Day?
  • What other activities are happening in your area around World Rabies Day?
  • Can we make a news “hook” that would attract attention during this time period?
  • How can we sustain our messages after the initial launch?
  • How can we promote our messages year round?
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    Photo courtesy of Dr. Asabe Dzikwi of the University Ahmandu Bello

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Version 4 - last updated May 2017