Social Marketing Capability


Current Projects






URSA is a full-service social marketing company headquartered in San Francisco.  The company specializes in working with multicultural audiences. 

The company develops public education campaigns and videos concerning social issues ranging from health/human services to issues related to the environment. 

In the last 20 years, we have conducted campaigns for dozens of local, state and federal government agencies, private non-profit organizations and foundations.

Selected Public Education Projects

Alameda Health Insurance Campaign.


Developed television spots, posters, counter cards, newspaper ads, interior transit displays and pamphlets to encourage enrollment by Alameda County residents in low-cost health insurance.   The objective was to recruit 250 new families into the program; more than 900 new families have signed up.   Contract administered by Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.  2001-2002.

Family Communications Campaign.  

Created a year-long campaign in San Mateo County to improve communications between parents and teens.  Messages included six tips to parents, each released for two months, as posters, counter cards and newspaper ads.   Materials developed in English, Spanish and Tagalog for African American, Caucasian, Latino and Filipino targets.   Campaign resulted in an average of 1,500 web site hits per month.  Nearly half of parents interviewed in post-test reported having seen campaign materials.   Nearly 1 in 3 parents had taken action after having seen the ads. Campaign developed for the San Mateo County Health Services Agency, the Teen Pregnancy coalition of San Mateo County, and the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.   2000-present.  Project Budget:  $500,000.

Young Adult Advocacy Project . 

A three-year grant to persuade young adults, 18-24, in Southern San Mateo County to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, especially to children.   Includes recruitment of young adult advocacy teams and media development to address young adults where they live, work and play.    Conducted target audience research and developed posters, napkins, plastic bags, movie slides, counter cards, decals, and bumper stickers.   Conducted for the San Mateo County Tobacco Prevention Program.   2001 – present

San Mateo County Tobacco Prevention Program . 

Designed a full advertising, public relations, and community marketing campaign to combat exposure to environmental (secondhand) tobacco smoke in homes and bars, and a teen prevention campaign.   Elements included cable television, radio, external and internal transit, direct mail, school posters, contests, and web design.   Adult and teen-targeted campaigns generated more than 60% target audience awareness of campaign messages and upwards of 40% positive behavioral indicators of audiences acting on the campaigns’ messages.   Developed and implemented a unified marketing strategy for county program, integrating policy and youth components.   Trained county staffers, subcontractors and high school youth in press relations.  Liaison with San Mateo County press.  1994-2002.


Santa Clara Water Conservation Campaign.  

Developed television spots, newspaper ads and special inserts to persuade Santa Clara County residents to conserve water used for outdoor residential purposes.  Set up co-op displays and contest with private sector partner, Summer Winds Garden Centers, to highlight the benefits of smart steps consumers and businesses can take to conserve use of outdoor water through better use of plant material and technology.  Contract administered by Santa Clara Valley Water District.  2002. Project budget: $140,000.

Santa Clara County Foster Care Recruitment Campaign.  

Developed posters, point-of-purchase cards, newspaper ads, and agency stationery for a campaign to recruit foster parents for hard-to-place foster and adoptive children.  Materials were produced in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.   Counter cards were placed in parent-friendly locations, such as churches.  2000-present.

California Center for Health Improvement.

 Currently serve as one of the statewide consultants to cities and counties on the implementation of “Proposition 10”.

San Mateo County “Smoke-free Start for Families”.  

Conducted focus groups and developed an outreach campaign toward current smokers to kick the habit or at least reduce smoking around their children.   Materials included posters, growth charts and media plan.   2002-2003.  Project Budget: $55,000. 

East Palo Alto HIV Prevention Campaign.  

Produced posters, streetlight banners, radio spots, promotions and activities in coordination with local community groups to prevent HIV infection by young men and women and substance abusers.    Materials developed  for African American, Latino and Pacific Islander audiences in English, Spanish, Tongan and Samoan.  Worked closely with local committee.   Our messages were seen by virtually everyone (95%-100% recall) in this predominantly African American and Latino community.   We actually recorded significant behavior change.   The percentage of respondents who said they will use a condom the next time they have sex increased by 32% among teens and 19% among women.  Reported usage of condoms increased by 25% among men who have sex with men.   Contract administered by San Mateo County AIDS Program.   1999-2000.  Project Budget:  $450,000.  

Post Exposure Prevention Project.  

Developed media messages targeting gay men of color to encourage their participation in a treatment program for people exposed to HIV infection.   Placed billboards, interior and exterior bus cards, newspaper ads, posters in high-risk locations, and palm cards in ethnic communities across San Francisco.  Tripled signups for program in one month.   1998.

San Francisco Department of Public Health/Perinatal Services.

Designed and implemented an advertising, media relations and community marketing plan for the Family Services Branch. This “Make the Call!” campaign targeted African-American and Latino women via paid radio, television, bus interiors and community counter displays in various retail environments.  1998.   Project budget: $190,000/year.  

California Poison Control System . 

Developed and implemented a multimedia advertising and mass media public affairs outreach campaign for a state network of poison emergency intervention centers.  Measured evaluation resulted in 47% of target audience responding to campaign message – “Put this peel-and-stick phone sticker on your phone”.   Advertising media included direct mail, parent magazine ads and inserts, retail displays and radio. Developed a statewide media relations element to the advertising campaigns in 1999 and 2000.   Activities included production of a VNR with b-roll of various unintended poisoning examples, newswire monitoring and alerts, press packet development, speaker training, and participation in multi-part series on early childhood issues with Univision Spanish television outlets in California.  Efforts resulted in 120 PSA placements, numerous news stories and news TV features.

1999-2000. Budget: $300,000. 

California AIDS Prevention Campaign . 

Designed the Community Marketing component for a $1.5 million/year targeted prevention campaign for the Department of Health Services/Office of AIDS.  Target audiences included young adults, African-American and Latino adults, Intravenous Drug Users (IDU) and their partners.  Produced more than thirty collateral materials to support strategies that involved outreach to beauty salons, record stores, video game parlors, Latinos and farm workers, the general business community, interfaith communities, schools and HIV test sites.   Followed up production with community mobilization social marketing trainings with education and prevention providers.   1995-1998.  Annual budget: $260,000.

Bay Area Used Oil Recycling Campaign . 

Designed an advertising and community marketing campaign for a consortium of environmental health agencies in nine Bay Area counties.   Paid English and Spanish language TV and radio spots encouraged 18-34 year-old males to call an 800# to find the used oil recycling center nearest them.  Community trainings mobilized local agencies with "political-style" street signs for neighborhood posting and a scratcher card game for use at community events.  The hotline experienced a 500% increase in calls during the four-month campaign.   Project budget: $450,000.   1996.

Central Coast Alliance for Health . 

Provided marketing plan consulting services for this “single-plan county” Medi-Cal and low-income health insurance provider.   Activities included coordination with community-based organizations, businesses, and government to deliver a consistent marketing and public relations campaign.   1998-1999.  Marketing and PR development budget $38,70 0.

"Baby Points" Perinatal Incentive Program . 

Designed incentive award program for low-income pregnant women for San Francisco Department of Public Health to encourage pre-natal care.   Secured cooperative agreement with Toys 'R Us, established data base client record system, secured free public service placements on nine Bay Area radio stations, various beauty shops, laundromats and social/health services sites.  90% successful client completion rate, up from 35% before program. 1994. Project budget: $225,000.

Office of Family Planning Client Recruitment Campaign . 

Directed two waves of a statewide multi-media campaign for the California Department of Health Services.  Resulted in more than 45,000 calls to a "smart 800#" that led potential clients to the family planning centers nearest them.   Negotiated radio and transit buys.   Designed and executed lottery-styled scratcher card promotion with radio stations, stimulating increased response from 16-24 year-old targets.  Conducted extensive media receptivity survey in nine media markets to determine editorial and public service receptivity prior to campaign launch.   1990-1991.  Total media budget for both waves: $1.3 million.