Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level





Jan L. Wicks

Committee Member

Rob Wells

Second Committee Member

Patsy Watkins


Child Abuse, Child Abuse Prevention, Communication, Marketing Plan, Public Relations, Social Media Plan


The Children’s Safety Center (CSC) is a nonprofit organization in Springdale, Arkansas, that advocates for child abuse victims in Northwest Arkansas. This thesis project includes a social marketing plan that aims to increase the overall awareness of the CSC and its new prevention programs used to decrease the number of child abuse victims in Northwest Arkansas. The social marketing plan also aims to create behavioral changes that increase participation in prevention programs and social media engagement, in addition to volunteers and donors. The plan was developed based on research on effective nonprofit social marketing plans, research on efficient communication efforts with individuals that participate, volunteer and donate to nonprofits, and through communication with the CSC’s Development Director Emily Fisher. The marketing plan provides recommendations on how to communicate with parents in the community, along with individuals that work with children. These individuals have the opportunity to participate in prevention programs, volunteer and donate to the CSC. The social marketing plan includes a public service announcement (PSA) that was evaluated using an online Qualtrics survey of CSC email recipients. The PSA and survey were created based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) theory of persuasion. Survey responses were used to make recommendations and improvements to the original PSA, created to use on multiple media platforms. The social marketing plan will help increase prevention program participants, volunteers and donors to the CSC, with the overarching goal to decrease the number of child abuse victims in Northwest Arkansas.