221578 Reality Check: Incorporating parental attitudes into an underage drinking prevention campaign

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gisela Rots, MSc , Cambridge Prevention Coalition, City of Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
Stacey E. King, MS , Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Amy Dunaway, MA, MPH , University of Missouri, Health Communication Research Center, Columbia, MO
While much focus on underage drinking is teen-centered, parental attitudes toward underage drinking are often influenced by their own early experiences, approaches such as the European model, concern about hypocrisy, and perception of social norms, which affect how they communicate with their children. In 2009, the Cambridge Prevention Coalition, in collaboration with the Cambridge Public Health Department, launched Reality Check, a social marketing campaign aimed at parents of middle school students. The campaign goal is to engage parents in talking with their tweens about alcohol and to set boundaries and limits. This four-year campaign seeks to increase the self-efficacy of parents to have conversations with their children, reduce access to alcohol in the home, and delay the onset of drinking. This presentation focuses on formative research conducted to understand parental attitudes and communication barriers, and how these findings guide the campaign's messaging and social marketing mix. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of new media, including the use of mobile marketing, Facebook and Twitter. We examine the pros and cons of incorporating local parents into the campaign design, how local custom affects messaging, and ways that Coalition and community partnerships affect all stages of the campaign. In addition, we present the results of an evaluation of the first stage of Reality Check and its impact. The importance of incorporating theoretical behavior change components in a local community-based campaign is also discussed.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Design and implement a formative research plan to reach a diverse audience and to inform social marketing strategy 2. Identify community partners in the development of key messages and campaign evaluation. 3. Identify and incorporate programmatic elements to support campaign messages and assess effectiveness of a range of campaign distribution channels including new media.

Keywords: Social Marketing, Substance Abuse Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work on and direct a community substance abuse prevention program, which has conducted numerous social marketing campaigns. I have also conducted regional trainings on social marketing best practices and how to incorporate evaluation into any campaign.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.