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This article is positioned within critical and strategic social marketing literature (Andreasen, 1995; Goldberg, 1995; Gordon, 2011, 2013; Gordon, Moodie, Eadie, & Hastings, 2010), which asserts the importance of conducting community-based research to gain insights that assist in strategic social program design (Andreasen, 2002; French & Gordon, 2015). Campaign design failures associated with 'top down' or 'expert led' approaches, have been linked to poor in-depth community research (French & Gordon, 2015, p.13). The policy design/implementation of New South Wales shark management strategy has been an example of a top down, expert driven implementation design strategy. The aim of this research is to demonstrate how a multi-method research design may assist in enhancing social program design and better inform policy makers, with the ultimate aim of a reduction in public risks of unprovoked shark encounters.