E 31 - How to engage youth - expert tips from the Awkward Moments Sexual Consent Campaign with Leanne Hughes & Rebecca Roberts

Season #2

This episode welcomes the 👑 queens of communication Leanne Hughes & Rebecca Roberts  to chat about meaningful engagement with young people looks like and how to do it.

We focus on the fabulous Awkward Moments sexual consent campaign in Scotland. This campaign took a behaviour change approach and adopted COM_B to understand what young people needed to help them talk about intimate moments and sexual consent.

Leanne developed the campaign on the commissioning side with NHS Scotland and commissioned Rebecca founder of Thread & Fable to develop and activate the campaign.

Through engaging with young people the ‘Awkward Moment’ came through as a clear theme and trigger moment from which to enter these conversations.

There is so much in this episode – loads of learning points, aha moments and don’t dos! Ever!!

Young people are given the space to inform the campaign at every stage of the process.

Messaging is tested on young people that are not involved in the process!

Evaluation is incredibly focussed across behaviour and campaign tactics.

Channels: (2-week testing)

  • Tik Tok replies and ads.
  • You Tube preroll ads
  • Snapchat
  • Spotify ads
  • Tested FB stories
  • Tested Instgram stories

Professionals' resources are included.




3 AHA moments

  •  Bring young people came in at the agency selection stage to judge the pitches. Commissioners gold!
  • Asking a self-selected group if they like your creative is not meaningful engagement and it is not fair. Develop a checklist with clear parameters – ensure your process is clear for everyone knows what and why they. Get as specific as you can. It’s not about asking whether they like something – uplevel your questions – ask for feedback on a specific angle and explain why that matters. Focus!
  • Young people are not a homogenous group. Be careful of your assumptions and your stakeholders assumptions around this young people. Ensure you are representative get proactive and get the right and all the voices in the room.

   Don’t do this - tips from the pros

  1. Don’t be preachy or create an assembly campaign – check out this tik tok!
  2. Don’t talk at young people – talk with them. Talk not tell
  3. Never forget accessibility. Don’t rely on ‘in-jokes. Test your creatives and messaging to find out.
  4. Don’t forget subtitles are so important they are most likely watching with younger siblings and parents and carers about.
  5. Don’t assume all young people have unlimited data – don’t jump to digital.
  6. Don’t ask young people (or anyone) to comment on half-drafted plans or creative.
  7. Don’t forget to prep and have a clear process for the engagement for the young people. Get specific.
  8. Don’t ask do you like it? Ask specific questions and share why that question and their answer is important.
  9. Don’t forget to test with young people not involved in the development process.
  10. Don’t forget to show you value their time. Pay them.


Top quotes

“The learning was not to give over scripts half created for comment – that’s not fair on young people - they will be polite they won’t be able to say what they really think. What’s unique about our process and campaign is they had the space all the way through and had the ability to speak on every stage” Leanne Hughes


“ young people are not a homogenous group ....you have to go beyond and proactively get the right people in the room...." Rebecca Roberts



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