The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4174.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #45287

Involving youth target audiences in social marketing programs: Best practices and pitfalls

Ford S. Hatamiya, BA, CSAP Communications Team/University Research Corp, LLC, 525 - 39th Street, Richmond, CA 94805, 510.215.0733,

As social marketing theory contends and social marketing practice demonstrates, the target audience occupies the center of effective social marketing programs. Traditionally, in-depth investigation of the audience has included gathering historical data, conducting original research, and developing cultural profiles to inform social marketing program design. Many social marketing programs have effectively targeted youth as message recipients and research subjects. In recent years, there has been a practical and ethical push for youth to expand beyond their traditional target audience roles. In addition to their conventional roles as reactors to products and messages, youth have been called upon to assist with program conceptualization, dictate and execute strategies for program implementation, and champion the credibility of the program. There are both benefits and challenges to fully incorporating youth target audiences into social marketing efforts. This session challenges social marketers to go beyond the use of youth target audience members for pretesting products to full integration of audience representatives from concept to dissemination. It also explores the best practices and pitfalls of full incorporation of the target audience in the development team. For example, what happens when input from youth conflicts with either organizational focus or accepted message development principles? The session also provides illustrative examples from CSAP's underage drinking prevention campaign and the CSAP Communications Team.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of this session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Social Marketing, Youth

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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