Use of Mass Media Appropriately

Description of Strategy

Mass media campaigns employ brief, recurring messages over time (weeks to years) to provide information or motivation to children and adolescents with the goal of increasing or improving health behaviors. Mass media techniques primarily include broadcast messages on television and radio, although other formats such as billboards, print, and movies have been used. Campaigns can focus on messages targeting children and adolescents or can include such messages as part of an overall anti-alcohol, -tobacco, and -other drug effort (for example, including messages targeting tobacco users to increase cessation and messages about reducing exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke) (Task Force on Community Preventive Services, 2005).

Also known as...

Compliance checks media, SUI media campaign, social host campaign, red ribbon weeks, officer recognitions, worth it drive sober

Discussion of Effectiveness

Alcohol

Evidence suggests that use of mass media appropriately is an effective strategy for alcohol and tobacco (Elder et al., 2004; Farrelly, Niederdeppe, & Yarsevich, 2003). Two systematic reviews (The Community Guide, 2010; University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 2014) found carefully-planned, well-executed, and broadly-distributed mass media campaigns targeting alcohol-impaired driving were effective when they were combined with other ongoing alcohol-impaired driving activities.

Tobacco

Evidence suggests that use of mass media appropriately is an effective strategy for alcohol and tobacco (Elder et al., 2004; Farrelly, Niederdeppe, & Yarsevich, 2003). Two systematic reviews (The Community Guide, 2010; University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 2014) found carefully-planned, well-executed, and broadly-distributed mass media campaigns targeting alcohol-impaired driving were effective when they were combined with other ongoing alcohol-impaired driving activities.

Prescription & Other Drugs

While not robust, there is some evidence to suggest this strategy is also effective for other drugs (Wakefield, Loken, & Hornik, 2010).

References

Strategy Description

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. (2005). The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What works to promote health? New York: Oxford University Press.

Evidence Base

Brinn, M.P., Carson, K.V., Esterman, A.J., Change, A.B., & Smith, B.J. (2010). Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 11.

Clapp, J.D., Johnson, M., Voas, R.B., Lange, J.E., Shillington, A., & Russell, C. (2005). Reducing DUI among US college students: Results of an environmental prevention trial. Addiction, 100, 327-334.

Elder, R.W., Shults, R.A., Sleet, D.A., Nichols, J.L., Thompson, R.S., & Rajab, W. (2004). Effectiveness of mass media campaigns for reducing drinking and driving and alcohol-involved crashes: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 27(1), 57–65. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.03.002

Farrelly, M.C., Niederdeppe, J., & Yarsevich, J. (2003). Youth tobacco prevention mass media campaigns: Past, present, and future directions. Tobacco Control, 12(Suppl 1), i35-i47.

Saltz, R.F., Paschall, M.J., McGaffigan, R.P., & Nygaard, P.M.O. (2010). Alcohol risk management in college settings: The Safer California Universities randomized trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 39(6), 491-499.

Saltz, R.F., Welker, L.R., Paschall, M.J., Feeney, M.A., & Fabiano, P.M. (2009). Evaluating a comprehensive campus-community prevention intervention to reduce alcohol-related problems in a college population. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, (Suppl 16), 21-27.

The Community Guide, Community Preventive Services Task Force (2010). Motor vehicle injury – alcohol-impaired driving: Mass media campaigns. Retrieved December 6, 2017.

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (2017). Mass media campaigns against alcohol-impaired driving. Retrieved December 6, 2017.

Wakefield, M.A., Loken, B., & Hornik, R.C. (2010). Use of mass media campaigns to change health behavior. The Lancet, 376, 1261-1271.

Futher Reading

National Association of Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives. (2001). Community how to guides on underage drinking prevention: Guide 7, Media Relations. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.