Anita van Essen is working as a teacher-researcher for the research group Crossmedia Communication in the Public Domain since 2011. She graduated with honors from the master Applied Communication Science at the Wageningen University and Research Centre. Her thesis focused on using Entertainment Education for preventing alcohol abuse amongst youngsters. Besides, she studied Communication en Media Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, with a specialization in Creative Marketing & Product Development.
Before working for the research group, Anita worked in different commercial and public organizations. In the public domain, she researched enhancing the efficacy of public campaigns at the Service Public and Communication (Minstry of General Affairs). Subsequently she developed different practical instruments in cooperation with communication professionals: the CASI (Campaign Strategic Instrument) for the Ministry of General Affairs, the ComBI (Communication Decision Instrument) for the UWV, and the CORT & Krachtig (Mobility Behavioral Tool) for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. These instruments are nowadays used in different commercial and public organizations to design communication efforts aimed at behavior change.
Anita is specialized in research aimed at ‘design for behavior change’. She is passionate about finding new ways in which public organizations can develop and evaluate effective (persuasive) campaigns and interventions.