Developing Eff ective Media Campaigns for Health Promotion
Improving utilization of seatbelts or mammogram services; raising awareness about AIDS, cancer risks, or cardiovascular disease; educating about sudden infant death syndrome or the H1N1 vaccine; reducing uptake of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs-media campaigns are used to infl uence and communicate about a range of health issues and behaviors. In their comprehensive review of communication campaigns, Rogers and Story (1987) extracted four essential elements across defi nitions, including: (a) a campaign is intended to generate outcomes or eff ects, (b) in a relatively large number of individuals, (c) usually within a specifi ed period of time, and (d) through an organized set of communication activities. Campaigns have a long, well-established and respected heritage as an instrument for achieving social change (Paisley, 2001) as well as an apparatus for promoting public health (Hornik, 2002). In this chapter, we discuss the essential components to media campaigns, including formative research, persuasive message strategies, channel and source selection, dissemination decisions, and evaluation of eff ects.