221722 I'm allergic to stupid decisions: A youth-driven texting program to support healthy decisions

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gisela Rots, MSc , Cambridge Prevention Coalition, City of Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
L. Suzanne Suggs, PhD, CHES , Institute of Communication and Health, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
Jonnas Jacques , Northeastern University, Medford, MA
Jennifer Mui , Medford High School, Medford, MA
Huong Vong , Medford High School, Medford, MA
Brendan Reardon , Medford High School, Medford, MA
In September 2009, a group of teens in Medford, MA launched a social marketing campaign to reduce underage drinking in their community. One goal was to provide support for healthy decision-making about alcohol consumption; and in doing so, reduce underage drinking. A major component of the campaign was a texting service designed to provide a virtual support system to help young people make healthy decisions. It provided youth with excuses not to drink, facts on underage drinking and alternative activities to drinking. It was available to anyone in the US on-demand and in the first four months of the program, over 1300 texts were sent out to over 100 subscribers. To accomplish this, many variations of media were used – including new media, social media, as well as traditional media. After a year-long planning phase, the “I'm Allergic to Stupid Decisions” campaign was launched and utilized, using a variety of promotional strategies to encourage the target audience to text in. This session will focus on the assessment and planning phases of the project, followed by the implementation and evaluation. Participants will learn how our promotional campaign supported the use of a texting service, and which kinds of marketing materials can be most effective. Evaluation information will include reactions from the target audience and behavior change outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how texting can be used to support healthy decision-making. 2. Describe the critical role youth have in developing a texting program designed for youth 3. Demonstrate the importance of promotion in supporting a texting-based social marketing program that encourages healthy decision-making.

Keywords: Youth, Social Marketing

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. As the advisor to the team of youth who have planned and implemented this project, I have been integrally involved in its evoluion. 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.