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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Promotes Positive Youth Development Framework to Drive Meaningful Youth Engagement Across the State

Evaluating the impact of journalism and communications
March 21, 2021

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Promotes Positive Youth Development Framework to Drive Meaningful Youth Engagement Across the State

Executive Summary:

Colorado’s unique approach to Positive Youth Development (PYD), which is framed as a community-wide movement to transform our culture, norms and ingrained beliefs about young people so we see them as resources to cultivate and engage, and not problems to fix.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) engaged SE2 to increase awareness of the PYD model and support its implementation in communities across the state. SE2 developed a brand that brought the state’s unique take on the model to life, and developed a series of video stories to show the successful implementation of the model in communities and organizations across the state.
Colorado’s unique approach to Positive Youth Development (PYD), which is framed as a community-wide movement to transform our culture, norms and ingrained beliefs about young people so we see them as resources to cultivate and engage, and not problems to fix.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) engaged SE2 to increase awareness of the PYD model and support its implementation in communities across the state. SE2 developed a brand that brought the state’s unique take on the model to life, and developed a series of video stories to show the successful implementation of the model in communities and organizations across the state.
Key outcomes:

  • Client reported an improved ability drive awareness of Colorado’s PYD model using the brand and videos developed by SE2
  • Video series helped drive increased inquires for PYD trainings

 

Explore how we approached the project using our proven, four-part Changecycle™ process:

Investigate:

CDPHE serves Coloradans by providing public health and environmental protection services that promote healthy people in healthy places.
CDPHE’s Prevention Services Division, which focuses on health promotion efforts (e.g., anti-tobacco initiatives and marijuana prevention and education), funds dozens of grantees across the state to use a PYD framework in their programs and campaigns.
The PYD framework promotes inclusive and collaborative relationships with young people in the creation and outreach for local public health campaigns and incorporates the development of skills, opportunities and authentic relationships into programs, practices and policies, so that young people reach their full potential. However, Colorado adapted the framework to meet the needs of its diverse youth communities.
In the summer of 2019, CDPHE’s PYD program manager called on SE2 to help the division explain and promote the model to local public health agencies and partners, to increase awareness and drive utilization of the model across Colorado.
CDPHE chose SE2 to support this effort due to our extensive work in youth public health campaigns, as well as our hands-on experience using the PYD model within our own agency.
Through the discovery process, we uncovered that there was a significant amount of interest from local public health agencies and community partners to use the PYD model. Yet, while many partners had heard of the model before, they were having difficulty understanding what made Colorado’s approach unique and struggled to visualize how to bring the model to life within their own organization.
We also learned that Colorado’s PYD model wasn’t “packaged” in a way that brought the unique story and perspective to life, and therefore the existing PYD promotional materials weren’t as compelling as they needed to be to achieve the client’s goals.

Activate:

Any new initiative needs a strong presence to draw the audience’s attention and galvanize action. Therefore, we treated PYD just like you might treat launching a new product or service: we proposed creating a compelling brand that would tell the story of Colorado’s unique approach to PYD and get interested parties excited about its potential.
Furthermore, we knew from our extensive behavior-change campaign work how important it is to help the audience visualize the PYD framework within their organization by distilling the complex framework into something that could be quickly understood.
For these reasons, we proposed producing a series of interview-style videos featuring a variety of organizations that had successfully implemented and benefited from the PYD approach while incorporating the new visual and editorial brand.

Captivate:

Our process started with six in-depth interviews with stakeholders within the Prevention Services Division. The goal of these interviews was to identify the elements that make Colorado’s approach to PYD noteworthy and unique. From there we could identify key messages and proof points that would ultimately be used during the development of the brand and video scripts.
The interviews also helped us identify thematic topics that would serve as the foundation for the video series.
With the interviews complete and the topics identified, SE2’s creative team got to work. The creative team developed several brand positions and logo options to represent Colorado’s PYD model. Once the client selected their favorite option, we refined the brand look and feel, and developed a visual and editorial identity that would be carried throughout the videos.
We then collaborated with the client to identify who in its network of grantees would be willing to tell their story of how they successfully implemented PYD. As we vetted stories, we sought organizations that helped to demonstrate to potential partners that PYD can work in any type of organization — from small to large, and in any issue area. Demonstrating the diversity of organizations that were successfully utilizing the model was critical to growing PYD’s adoption across Colorado.
In total, we developed eight videos (two promotional videos, six key PYD topic videos) featuring ## organizations in both English and Spanish.

Radiate:

Following the completion of the project, CDPHE’s Prevention Services Division reported that they felt better able to drive awareness of Colorado’s PYD model (and its PYD training) to interested local public health agencies and community partners.
The Prevention Services Division also remarked that the story approach was critical to helping prospective organizations feel comfortable moving forward with implementing the PYD model within their organization, which helps achieve the client’s goal of widespread adoption of the model in organizations across Colorado.
Today, Colorado is recognized as a leader in promoting and operationalizing PYD at the state, local and community levels. We’re proud to have played a part in delivering results by developing the brand and materials that helped CDPHE stand out as a national leader.

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