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Communication strategies: Guidelines and tools

We want to support your work preventing substance use and promoting mental health in our communities across Washington State.

Whether you are bringing a state sponsored or national campaign to your community, or designing your own messaging, the tools below can help your coalition develop clear and effective social marketing messages. Below you will find resources for writing a communications plan, along with campaign resources and tools to help make the most of your efforts.

For assistance and messaging guidance, connect with your DBHR Manager. 


Campaign planning

Create a communications plan that will guide your campaign based on the change you want to see in your community, the audience you want to influence and the resources you can leverage. Below we have collected a number of resources to maximize your prevention efforts.

To get started drafting a communication plan, use this communication plan template.

Our communication campaigns support the behavioral changes we want to see in our communities. To get at the heart of behavioral change for your target audience, consider these social marketing planning questions.

For resources about developing effective messaging, check out the following tools: 

Reviewed campaigns

The Prevention team at DBHR have reviewed the following campaign materials. We encourage Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) coalitions to support these campaigns in your community.


DBHR media campaigns


Approved campaigns developed by state and national partners


If these campaigns do not meet your community's needs, or if you have ideas about localizing the messaging of existing campaign, before obligating funding, connect with your DBHR Manager to discuss your reasons for developing a new message or product. They can support your efforts to develop a purposeful and cost-effective campaign.

Media relations

Coalitions are encouraged to publicize key events, accomplishments, and results of local and state surveys, such as the Washington Healthy Youth Survey. New CPWI coalitions are also required to issue a news release to announce their services and contact information to their communities.

A sample news release template is provided on page 64 of the CPWI Community Coalition Guide

SAMHSA has also developed their own strategies for working with news media to support community prevention efforts.

Health Care Authority (HCA) logo

When you use HCA’s logo, you’re representing the agency. We want to help you use it well. See the tips below to answer common questions about logo use and co-branding.


When to use

HCA should be cited as the funding source in news releases, publications, and campaign messages created with HCA/DBHR funding. You can either state the funding source as “Washington State Health Care Authority” or use the logo in place of a citation.



For letter- or legal-size paper, portrait orientation, the HCA logo size should be between 2 and 2.25 inches. For letter- or legal-size paper, landscape orientation, the HCA logo size is typically 2.5 inches.


Clear space

Clear space is the area around the HCA logo that must be free of any other logos, graphics, borders, or text. This ensures that the HCA logo is easily recognized. The clear space for HCA's logo should be ¼ of an inch above, below, and on both sides of the logo.


Black or color logo?

  • Use a black version of the HCA logo if the document has no color other than black.
  • Use the color version of the HCA logo if you are using color photos, graphs, charts, or color headings.


The list of "please don'ts!"

Please don't:

  • Copy the HCA logo from the website and use it in a document, such as a Word document or Excel file. Logos taken from the web won't reproduce clearly in documents, especially documents that could be printed.
  • Change the HCA logo—please don’t modify the colors, typefaces, or size of any part of the HCA logo, or add visual effects such as drop shadows.
  • Try to re-create or match the original artwork.
  • Add text or visuals directly below the HCA logo. (See Clear space above.)
  • Distort the HCA logo by stretching it.
  • Place the HCA logo on a competing background, such as a pattern or photo that would obscure it.