Understanding what excites and concerns youth is one of the critical ingredients to Cartoon Network’s success. That’s why we knew we had to act when we learned that nearly 85 percent of our youth audience was concerned about bullying and needed information on how to prevent it.
When we first launched Stop Bullying: Speak Up, we saw a great opportunity to make kids smarter about bullying and to also strengthen our connection with kids and families. Our goal was to develop an awareness campaign designed to provide resources for parents, kids and educators and explain in simple terms, the variety of ways people can take action to resolve the bullying issue and prevent it from happening. But like many things in business, we knew that if we were going to be truly effective in our efforts, we couldn’t do it alone.
Whether a corporate executive or entrepreneur, business professionals who serve youth or families can play an instrumental role in bullying prevention. They offer a unique set of skills, networks and leadership abilities that can be critical to improving the well-being of their community.
What can you do to prevent bullying?
Business leaders who are interested in bullying prevention understand that the health and well-being of their patrons is directly related to the health and well-being of their company. We can:
- Leverage existing networks, partnerships and collaborations. Our partners have been essential to Stop Bullying: Speak Up’s success. For example, we invite Health Resources and Services Administration’s bullying prevention leads to provide reviews of our new campaign materials, which connects us with the latest research from leading experts in the field. We didn’t need to position ourselves as bullying experts – only share our expertise about how to reach kids. Working toward these shared goals with partners also helped develop new relationships and business opportunities.
- Raise awareness about bullying and its effects to educate parents, teachers, elected officials and professionals, as well as mentors who serve youth. Your efforts will positively impact your community while also spreading your brand to new audiences.
- Support the adoption of comprehensive bullying prevention programs in schools and youth-serving organizations. Business leaders already partner with schools on workforce issues to offer advice on the content of education so students will be job ready after graduation. With our expertise in assessing risks and promoting worker safety, we can also help guide a process of planning safe and healthy environments for youth to learn, both in school and community settings.
Take the First Step
- Learn more about bullying prevention through the Training Module, “Understanding the Roles of Business Professionals in Community-Wide Bullying Prevention Efforts User Guide,” and other resources on StopBullying.gov.
- Plan a bullying prevention event to inform business professionals, parents, youth and other members of your community to share “what works” in bullying prevention and dispel some common myths and misdirections.
- Assist in the creation of a community coalition to assess the prevalence of bullying; and then design, fund and measure the effectiveness of bullying prevention strategies to safeguard all youth.
The results of our efforts are clear – Stop Bullying: Speak Up has benefitted youth and our Cartoon Network youth brand. Our PSAs reach more than 900,000 kids every week with real-life stories of bullying and expert advice on its prevention, more than 3 million kids have seen the bullying documentaries and an average of 100,000 visitors go to StopBullyingSpeakUp.com each month. To date, more than 485,000 people have taken our pledge to stop bullying.
Alice Cahn, Vice President of Social Responsibility at Cartoon Network (CN), conceived and manages the award-winning Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign.