How Ministry of Health & Family Welfare makes Family Planning relevant for the common man

Family planning campaigns

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is responsible for raising awareness around family planning, we take a look at some of their recent family planning campaigns – the content themes at work, marketing tactics & overall objective.

As a government body responsible for creating awareness about family planning in India, there are quite a few things the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has to tackle with its campaigns. They have to talk about taboo topics with sensitivity, with an aim to reach out to a cross-section of demographics. Since it isn’t possible to talk to all the stakeholders all at once, their strategy seems to be concentrating on one set of audiences at a time — couples, men, women, and family members. For each, the communication is tailored in a way that is relevant and informative – family planning campaigns play an integral role here.

Couple-Centric Communication

The communication meant for couples is centered around the idea of how they can enjoy healthy sexual experiences with the use of contraceptives. Another key aspect is about the age gap between siblings to ensure a healthy life for the mother and the child. Key elements in such communication include a strong female presence in the narrative, propelling the conversation forward.

Women-Centric Communication

There are several contraceptives available to women as part of the schemes focussed on maternal health. These are promoted using ministry campaigns. Most of these narratives are about breaking myths and dispelling misconceptions around the use of the said contraceptives. These advertisements feature women in public settings, having conversations with each other, helping each other understand contraceptives better.

Also Read: How UNICEF is using #VaccinesWork to tackle vaccination hesitancy

Men-Centric Communication

One can hardly talk about family planning unless toxic masculinity is addressed. This is another key content segment under family planning campaigns. With these videos, the role of men in the process is highlighted. Topics such as consent and spousal communication are communication with the help of conversations between men, who are either friends or know each other because of social structures.

Involvement Of Family Members

The pressure a young couple is put under by their families to reproduce as soon as they can after getting married is a very real one in India. This is where communication between the couple and a modern approach by the elders in the family are key — something ministry campaigns focus on. They talk about the need for family planning and how the couple should be able to decide what’s best for them — on their own.

Leveraging Celebrities In Family Planning Campaigns

The involvement of celebrities in government campaigns helps amplify its reach. A popular and well-loved face increases the chances of people tuning in and taking the message seriously. Such narratives are usually very PSA-centric and include more of talking to the audiences than indulging in storytelling between the characters. They heavily bank on the goodwill of the celebrities to put across the message.

Anything and everything about sex is a taboo topic when it comes to an open conversation in India. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by anyone trying to create a campaign for #FamilyPlanning. There is a certain amount of shyness involved in the narrative to make it relatable for the intended audiences but in such narratives, there is one strong character who is able to talk without hesitation — helping it all fall in place.