Developing Effective Media Campaigns for Heatlth Promotion

Authored by: Kami J. Silk , Charles K. Atkin , Charles T. Salmon

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  August  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415883146
eBook ISBN: 9780203846063
Adobe ISBN: 9781136931673


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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 influence 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 definitions, including: (a) a campaign is intended to generate outcomes or effects, (b) in a relatively large number of individuals, (c) usually within a specified 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 effects.

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