Online Program

A Comparison of Media Flight Schedules and Seasonality in Relation to the Call Volume of the Maine Tobacco Helpline

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Rebecca Murphy, PhD, MPH, Burruss Institute of Public Service & Research, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
Patrick Madden, MBA, Market Decisions, Portland, ME
Ruth Dufresne, SM, Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, University of New England, Portland, ME
Background: Media planning is a critical component to the success of a tobacco control mass media campaign.  The current study fills a gap in the literature by comparing media flight schedules (i.e. pulsing, flighting, continuous), in relation to tobacco quitline call volume, while accounting for seasonality and holidays. 

Methods:  A negative binomial regression model was created to examine the relationship among media flight schedules, number of gross rating points (GRPs), and the Maine Tobacco Helpline (MTHL) call volume, as well as the role of seasonality and holidays,between January 2010 – June 2014.


Results: All three media buy types were significant in the model (p< .001 for pulsing and flighting, p=.0108 for continuous); however, a low dose of GRPs, 165 GRPs or less per week in Maine was not significant resulting in little or no effect on call volume.  The continuous media buys had the lowest weekly average of 174 GRPs. Weekly call volume was suppressed by approximately 60 calls during the weeks of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July.


Discussion: While our analysis revealed a significant increase in call volume among all media buy types, i.e. flighting, continuous, pulsing, our findings provide support for purchasing sufficient rating points as part of a media buy to observe a behavioral response, such as calling a tobacco quitline.  The study is also the first to quantify and report on the suppression of tobacco quitline call volume during US holidays and increases the literature base to support the need for summertime tobacco reduction interventions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effects of media flight schedules and call volume in relation to a statewide tobacco Quitline Discuss the effects of seasonality in relation to media flight schedules and call volume of a statewide tobacco Quitline

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the scientific advisor for the Partnership for a Tobacco Free Maine with 26 years experience in tobacco control, I identified the evaluation need, developed the research plan, and coordinated the analysis with statisticians, and wrote primary author of the evaluation report/manuscript.
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.