Straight Talk for Parents


It's commonplace today for many people to debate the causes of drug and alcohol abuse among young people. Is drug and alcohol abuse by children a result of the dangerous influences of false media imagery? It is driven by peer pressure and the desire to 'fit in' at school? Does it have more to do with education, family income or upbringing? Is it fueled by lax moral standards in the home? While the social factors at work are many, one fact remains clear: The single most powerful force available to steer children away from drugs is... their parents. Study after study proves that, no matter what, children listen to their parents' advice, first and foremost. The trouble is, most parents are downright reticent about discussing drugs and alcohol with their kids. 

Wendt Partners was retained to re-envision and help re-launch the Straight Talk for Parents outreach program, with a focus on responding to the need to arm parents with information and resources that are accessible, positively oriented and easy to understand The new program began with a completely fresh and new brand identity, rooted in the central image of two people engaged in conversation. The visual strategy and supporting content conveyed a positive impression of dialogue -- between parents and their children; between parents and their peers; and between parents and the information made available through the Straight Talk for Parents program. 

The brand strategy devised by Wendt Partners was then fully integrated into a full range of resources, including a dynamic and interactive website; a video information library; a tabbed parent reference guide with supporting handouts including a parent-child contract and list of parent-friendly resources; and a mini-CD mailer containing a Flash-viewer version of the guide suitable for use in direct mail efforts. Market response to the communications program has been overwhelming, with numerous partners in education and community advocacy requesting additional resources and eagerly sponsoring or supporting outreach workshops. The focus on positive role models and an ethnically and culturally diverse audience has further enabled the campaign to connect with a full range of audiences, helping to equip more parents with the tools and confidence they need to help their children avoid the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


Education, Nonprofit


Strategic Consulting, Branding & Messaging, Integrated Communications

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With the tools we now have at our fingertips -- supported by a strong brand, powerful message and easy-to-administer website -- we can now reach many more families with the “Straight Talk for Parents” message. We now have practical ways for busy parents and caregivers to learn about substance abuse and how to address it with their children.
Glenn Zehner, EdD, Educational Programs Director, Straight Talk for Parents

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