Local Social Marketing Campaign
This paper focuses on the applicability of social marketing towards reducing high risk drinking among college students in my home area. Evidence reveals that a higher ratio of the alcohol taken by both young adult and adolescent drinkers is at high risk levels. Therefore, those individuals between 15 and 17years as well as between 18 and 25 years old represents a significant target audience for this campaign aiming at the risks related to binge drinking. For this reason, the audience targeted is young people, especially college students.
The message being relayed is encouraging young adults and teenagers to speculate about the choices they make concerning drinking as well as the potential negative repercussions of too much alcohol consumption. Young people are cautioned about excessive drinking that can result in alcohol related risks, such as injury, health problems, social, and violent problems like relationships breakdown. The message also raises awareness of the risks and costs related to too much drinking, for instance, it leads to road accidents, trauma related admissions to the hospital, unsafe sex, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies. They are also informed that drinking to intoxication may result to socially undesirable behaviors and consequences, which can be regrettable. The campaign stresses much on avoiding taking alcohol to intoxication, which can have varieties of social as well as health benefits. On the other hand, parents and guardians are being informed that they have a role to play in educating their young people concerning the possible consequences resulting from excessive drinking as well as setting apparent behavioral boundaries. Teenagers are also advised to heed their patents on careers support and directions (Cuijpers et al, 2002).
The type of media being used to convey these messages is Television because its value to the public service broadcasts seems to be considered as self-evident, and it reaches higher number of targeted audience as compared to other type of media. Since the majority of this group of audience has never been advised to reflect on how much they take alcohol, which had lead to cultural blind spot to the issue, most of them have shown major improvement in behavioral outcomes. Therefore, the campaign is effective. In addition, the type of media used is also eye catching; hence, they have shown a high level of concern and suitable behavioral attention towards the message conveyed. If I was among the targeted audience, I believe the campaign would have also influenced me because most of the target people seem to respond to the operation in the intended direction (Gordon et al, 2006).
The campaign would have been more effective if various communication media and formats are used. The communication systems, such as holding special events, public service advertisements, public relations, sponsorship as well as personal communication, including family visits and counseling could be more effective. Likewise, communication media, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, cinemas, billboards and others would have been used to reach more youths where the Television does not reach. Conversely, mass media campaign may not be effective until the targeted audience is aiming to understand its message. In this case, the campaign should employ the two significant aspects of delivering messages, which are production quality and control over message placement. These aspects enable the audience to be exposed to the message with adequate frequency to surpass various thresholds for effectiveness. Additionally, it facilitates the placement and optimal timing of the messages.
Cuijpers, P., Jonkers, R., De Weerdt, I. & De Jong, A. (2002).The effects of drug abuse prevention at school: the ‘Healthy School and Drugs’ project, Addiction, 97(1), 67-73
Gordon, R., McDermott, L., Stead, M. & Angus, K. (2006). The efficiency of social marketing involvements for health improvement. Public Health, 120, 1133-1139