Promising Strategies for Media Health Campaigns
Michigan State University
Devising effective mass communication drug prevention strategies poses a difficult challenge to campaign design specialists and media professionals. This chapter reviews conventional strategies from the general health campaign literature and offers some promising innovative approaches that may achieve greater success in addressing the drug problem. The recently initiated national drug campaign blueprint is well grounded in theory and sophisticated in basic design. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) approaches are consistent with many principles in this chapter, and certain tactics are cited as examples of effective strategy. Nevertheless, antidrug campaign designers can profit by considering additional strategic factors and by fine-tuning the current strategies.
Disciplined campaign designers must undertake tedious homework before progressing to the fun phase of message creation. The starting point in health campaign design is a conceptual analysis of the situation comprising several forms of assessment. The first step is to analyze the behavioral aspects of the health problem, to determine which actions should be performed by which segments of the population. In particular, the designer needs to specify focal segments of the population whose health behavior is to be changed. For each segment, one can trace backward from the ultimate focal behaviors to identify the proximate and distal