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Sunday, September 03, 2006

How to Create a Campus Media Campaign

Print Media

According to information derived from The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, campus newspapers serves as the primary source of information for students with 75% of the student body reading the paper every day (HECAOD, 1997). Because the campus newspaper provides the broadest reach and is relatively inexpensive, it provides an excellent method of reaching the target population.

Five steps have been identified in the creation of a successful campus media campaign:

1. Collect baseline data.

2. Develop a message that highlights non binge norms.

3. Ensure credibility of the message source.

4. Deliver the message to the target population.

5. Support message retention within the population.

Collection of baseline data:

• Local data specific to the target population has been found to elicit the most interest.

• Do not display findings in a negative light but rather use a “social norms” approach to advertise positive aspects of the data/findings.

Developing the message:

• Four rules apply:

1. Keep it simple.

2. Keep it truthful.

3. Be consistent

4. Highlight the norms of moderation.

Ensuring Credibility:

• Many students overestimate the drinking of peers and therefore may be skeptical of information that challenges their beliefs.

• Research conducted by the HECAODP indicates students rate print material more believable than other media.

• Health professionals were rated believable than peer educators, friends, or other interpersonal sources of information.

• Cite the source of information used. Surveys demonstrate students felt authorities “made up statistics to get students to stop drinking”.

• The more scientific the source the more believable it was rated.

• Silly, satirical, cute, or juvenile formats were found to work against the credibility of the message.

• Photographs of students, (people who look like students...not to old, to young, not professional models, etcetera), were found to attract the most attention.

Delivering the Message:

• Use print media (newspaper, letters to the editor, classified, brochures, posters, billboards, bulletin boards, etcetera) and supplement with other forms.

• Pretest the media before releasing.

• Conduct random surveys of students in high traffic areas to ascertain if the message is being received.

Message Retention:

• Keep it simple.

• Make it credible.

• Repeat the message. Make sure students have exposure to the information.

• Provide incentives to students who can remember the slogan: for example hand out donated prizes to persons who can recite the slogan.



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