246663 Talking Sex Together (TxT) - A State-Wide Scalable Model Using Mobile Technology and Social Media to Generate Teen Peer-to-Peer Dialogue About Pregnancy Prevention

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:15 AM

Jennifer Fuller , Vice President, Fleishman Hillard, Kansas City, MO
Mary Heinrich, Senior Vice President and Director of the Public Health Specialty Group , Healthcare and Biotechnology practice group, Fleishman-Hillard Inc., Kansas City, MO
Program background: The Iowa Department of Human Services and EyesOpenIowa partnered with Fleishman-Hillard to create a statewide teen pregnancy prevention campaign aimed to motivate behavior change and impact teen attitudes and perceptions about sexual health. The Talking Sex Together (TxT) program encourages open peer-to-peer dialogue about teen pregnancy through text messaging, social networks and online channels, thereby speaking to teens in their own language through communication mediums they know and trust. Results: Over 800 teens signed-up to receive via text weekly quizzes, facts and polls related to sexual health. 63 percent of participating teens believed the campaign positively influenced attitudes, views, and/or behaviors related to sex. Via an anonymous hotline, teens submitted hundreds of sexual health-related questions and received instant answers via text from a trained sex educator, enabling teens to receive accurate and timely safe sex education. Formulated an active group of teen peer advocates, drove 17,000 visitors to website. Conclusions: Leveraging research findings and principles from proven behavior change models, Talking Sex Together (TxT) delivered a message that empowered teens to help one another make good decisions and stimulated on-going dialogue about sexual health. Efforts to affect health attitudes, perceptions and behavior change work best with the inclusion of relevant theoretical frameworks, audience segmentation, careful message design and appropriate channel selection. Implemented at the state level, this campaign serves as a scalable model for implementing a public health program to reach niche audiences with important health information and motivate intended action.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Formulate a state-wide, evidence-based public health campaign, using a scalable model of programming to impact attitudes and perceptions about critical health issues, such as teen pregnancy 2. Demonstrate understanding of mobile technology and social media as new and valuable channels for delivering targeted public health messages and inspiring action among adolescents 3. Evaluate proven online and off-line program tactics to create fully integrated pregnancy prevention communications programs

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I lead all day-to-day aspects of the program and is the reason why we have been able to keep this program going by adding new innovative approaches to communicate with teens each year.
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.