Our Work

Be On The Safe Side

Reducing Teen Pregnancy in Washington, DC

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Developed and implemented over a five-year period, the Be On The Safe Side teen pregnancy prevention campaign in Washington DC was one of MEE’s most successful social marketing campaigns. It was credited by City officials with helping to reduce out-of-wedlock births in Washington. Efforts were geared toward youth in grades 6 through 12, and their families, with a focus in the communities of highest need.

MEE’s social marketing efforts were designed to increase awareness about the consequences of teen pregnancy, change how the broader community thinks about and behaves regarding teen pregnancy, promote abstinence as a credible and viable option for teens, and get more parents and children to talk with each other about pregnancy prevention, reproductive health and youth sexuality. Be On The Safe Side was by teens for teens, who from the very beginning, were involved in the campaign’s development and implementation.

The campaign media (both English and Spanish-language) included radio ads placed on local stations popular with youth and their families; printed materials (posters, brochures, postcards and a campaign newsletter); and two youth-driven audio CD’s. Messages—focusing on “safe sex or no sex”—were also delivered through peer-to-peer outreach, satellite resource centers and partnerships with community and faith-based organizations. All campaign activities and events drove traffic to www.BeOnTheSafeSideCampaign.com, the comprehensive website where both youth and their parents could get up-to-date information and referrals on a variety of sexual health issues.