Bursting out of the bubble: how to increase the impact of your WASH communications

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential aspects of public health. To promote good hygiene practices and reduce the spread of waterborne diseases, effective communication is key. However, for WASH communications managers, creating impactful campaigns that will resonate with audiences outside your own sector is far from easy. Here, we’ll discuss common challenges for communications managers in the WASH sector, and look at some ways of creating content that will connect with a wide range of audiences.



Technical language

One of the biggest challenges faced by WASH communications managers is technical jargon. This language, which is often inaccessible to the general public, can easily become a barrier to effective communication. Hindering the target audience’s understanding, it may fail to communicate the importance of good hygiene practices.

Cultural barriers

For communications managers in the WASH sector, cultural beliefs and practices can also pose challenges. For example, in some cultures, topics related to sanitation and hygiene are considered impolite or taboo. This can create obstacles to communicating the importance of good hygiene practices.

Lack of awareness

Another challenge is a lack of awareness about WASH issues, especially in developing countries. Although there is a clear link between sanitation, hygiene, and public health, many people are unaware of it. This makes promoting good hygiene practices even more difficult.

Tips for creating compelling content

Speak your audience’s language

By speaking the language of your target audience, you can create content that they can more easily connect with. This means avoiding technical jargon, opting instead for language that is simple and easy to understand to ensure your content resonates more with your audience.

Use storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool you can use to captivate your audience and convey important messages. You might decide to share stories of poor sanitation and hygiene, and the toll this can take on individuals and communities.

Use visuals

Visuals, such as infographics and videos, can help communicate complex messages in a simple yet effective way. You can use them to highlight good hygiene practices and the benefits they bring. They can also show the negative consequences of poor sanitation.

Influencer collaborations

Collaborations with influencers (such as celebrities, community leaders and social media influencers) can increase the exposure of WASH campaigns, helping them reach audiences in and out of the sector. By promoting good hygiene practices and raising awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene, influencers can be a valuable asset to campaigns.


In conclusion, WASH communications managers face many challenges in creating impactful campaigns that will resonate with audiences outside their sector. Through engaging content that speaks your audience’s language, storytelling, visuals and influencer collaborations, you can create WASH campaigns that are more effective in promoting good hygiene practices, reducing the spread of waterborne diseases and improving public health.



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