242354 Developing a text-messaging element in a social marketing campaign: A quick how-to guide

Monday, October 31, 2011

Iana M. Simeonov , Schools of Pharmacy & Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Kristina M. Hamm, MPH , California Poison Control System, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Mobile phones are on their way to becoming the most pervasive media channel in the world. Over one billion mobile devices are sold annually. In 2009, more texts where sent per phone than phone calls made in the U.S. Immigrant workers are some of the most advanced users of mobile communications worldwide. That trend is also present in the U.S., with Latinos depending on their cell phones for more services than other large ethnic groups.

Text-messaging initiatives can be integrated within existing campaigns or used in tandem with other outreach strategies, including sending reminders, coaching, surveys and collecting simple data, looking up information and offering tips, updates on health and wellness.

Such possibilities present both opportunities for engaging diverse populations and challenges to social marketers: Is mobile technology a good tool for public health? How are other marketers using the channel? Can success be measured?

This session will explain SMS (short message service) and how it works on both basic and smart phones, detail short codes and registries, describe the telecomm ecosystem, identify methods and tools for building simple DIY text-messaging services or more complex programs, discuss the challenges of writing clever 140-character copy, describe managing costs, illustrate metrics and how to measure success, provide resources, recommend how to pitch the idea of using mobile for outreach, and offer real-world examples from national and international campaigns.

The focus will be on quickly developing and launching a simple, cost-effective text-messaging element as part of a larger public education strategy.

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

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the value of using text-messaging as part of a social marketing campaign 2. Evaluate the tools available to build a text-messaging service 3. Formulate a strategy for developing a text-messaging service

Keywords: Social Marketing, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 10+ years in consumer research, social marketing and brand positioning in public health, 2+ years building mHealth applications, including text-messaging campaigns. Marketing and Communications Director for largest provider of poison control services in the U.S. Presenter on social media, mobile and mhealth at the following: 2010 NIH mHealth Summit 2010 CDC Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media (2008, 2009, 2010) 2010 North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology
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.