268949 Using Social Marketing to Promote Tobacco-Free Schools

Monday, October 29, 2012

Les Pappas, President/Creative Director, Better World Advertising , Creative Director, Better World Advertising, San Francisco, CA
John Leonard, Sr Vice President, Better World Advertising , Sr. Vice President, Better World Advertising, San Francisco, CA
Background: According to the CDC, 90% of smokers initiate tobacco use before the age of 18. A key strategy for reducing youth smoking has been the adoption of Tobacco-Free School policies in school districts in the U.S. These policies generally prohibit smoking on school grounds and ban tobacco advertising at school functions (in addition to other measures). A statewide New York social marketing campaign targeted school administrators, to promote adoption and enforcement of such policies.

Methods: A media workgroup representing partnership agencies throughout the state provided guidance on campaign development and implementation. Campaign concepts and messages were tested in focus groups of school district superintendents and school board members. The We're Watching campaign was launched in October 2009 and ran through May 2010. It featured ads in magazines and websites targeting school administrators, as well as direct mail, email messaging and materials distributed by local agency staff.

Results: Evaluation conducted at the conclusion of We're Watching found that 32.1% of administrators surveyed reported being aware of the campaign, 76.6% said the ads got their attention, and 51% felt the ads made them think about doing more to enforce their school's tobacco-free policies. 15% had visited the campaign website. Awareness of the campaign was associated with an increase in the number of policy components implemented.

Conclusions: Social marketing efforts targeted to school administrators can reach and engage the target audience to increase awareness of the importance of tobacco-free school policies.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain how social marketing efforts can engage school administrators to increase awareness of the importance of tobacco-free school policies.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sr. Vice President of Better World Advertising for six years. Lead research, strategy, campaign development, implementation, and evaluation across issue areas such as HIV/AIDS, suicide, child abuse, foster care/adoption, tobacco, diabetes, drug abuse and drug policy. Formerly the Strategic Advisor/Community Liaison for the Mayor and city departments in Seattle, WA. Founder and Executive Director of the Gay City Health Project. Earned an MA in Government/Public Policy from Cornell University.
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.