The Attract Social Marketing Campaign targets young adults between 18-24 years of age living in Washoe County. The program addresses the issue of tobacco use prevention via two goals: 1.) Reduce disparities in tobacco use; 2.) Reduce the rate of tobacco use by young adults between 18-24 years of age living in Washoe County by 5%. The program's objectives include:
Objective A: By June 30, 2006, provide outreach to 50% of young adults between 18-24 years of age on college campuses in Washoe County.
Objective B: By June 30, 2006, provide outreach to young adults between 18-24 years of age, including non-college students in Washoe County.
By the end of grant period, at least 50% of University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) students between 18-24 years of age were exposed to the practice (Attract Social Marketing Campaign), thereby reaching Objective A. In addition, 2,261,474 contacts were made with young adults between 18-24 years of age in Washoe County through website promotions, website hits (including over 40,000 hits to the website in the 4th quarter alone), employer collaborations, and direct outreach, thereby meeting Objective B. The practice also provided knowledge and awareness around tobacco-related issues such as clean indoor air. As a result of increased awareness in the target group, the practice assisted in the passing of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in most public places and indoor places of employment.
In Nevada, smoking related deaths are alarmingly common and much higher than the national average. In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 3,359 Nevadans died of smoking related illnesses. Nevada’s smoking related death rate is 30% higher than the national average. Specifically, the death rate from lung cancer was 113 per 100,000 population; coronary heart disease was 82.1 per 100,000 population; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was 107.4 per 100,000 population.
The disease-specific smoking attributable death rates range from 20-65% higher than the rates for all other states. In the nation, Nevada, and Washoe County, tobacco use remains the single leading cause of preventable death. The DHD’s tobacco prevention efforts for young adults between 18-24 years of age has the potential to prevent a plethora of chronic and terminal diseases. The 18-24 year old population is now the fastest growing group of smokers in the nation. Nationally, smoking prevalence is highest among this age group, with 23.6% of that population currently smoking. Unfortunately, the rate is even higher in Washoe County, at 24.7%.
The practice (Attract Social Marketing Campaign) is specifically tailored to reach the young adult 18-24 year-old community. Attract translates commercial branding practices into viable prevention strategies by fostering experiences that associate identity images of at-risk youth with healthy behaviors.The practice (Attract Social Marketing Campaign) was developed using the social branding theory, which translates commercial branding practices into viable prevention strategies by fostering experiences that associate images of the target population with healthy behaviors. This approach allows public health to understand and influence youth culture to better change behaviors. Commercially, branding affects the desire or intent to behave in a manner that requires a product, resulting in its sale. Commercial brands don’t sell products; they change behavior, and the behavior buys the product. Two key determinants of this theory include: (1) identification amongst the target market and (2) their awareness of the brand’s position on the behavior.
The theory further states that the target market only needs to be aware of the brand’s position, and the actual behavior change will come from the individual identifying with the brand. The DHD has applied this theory to Attract in order to reduce tobacco use among young adults between 18-24 years of age. To achieve this, Attract created a brand that embodies the voice, personality, and style of a twenty-year old in Washoe County and then utilized this brand to implement innovative communication techniques in non-traditional settings that disseminate messaging and achieve social authority within the target group. Attract created brand knowledge through strategically placed ads and events. Attract's educational materials, messaging, and activities are tailored to the target population, while, at the same time, emulate a smokefree lifestyle . As a result, the young adult population in Washoe County associates Attract with desired behaviors of being hip, cultured, sexy, and social, and then emulate that image by being smoke-free.
Agency Community RolesThe DHD serves as the lead agency for the practice (Attract Social Marketing Campaign); however, collaboration and community buy-in has an integral role in the success of these efforts. Community partners and stakeholders are receptive of DHD staff and committed to continued collaboration. As a direct result of community buy-in, collaboration in outreach for Attract has been successful. The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) has partnered on many joint activities that promote Attract, such as the Late Night Movie Series, Friday Festival, Great American Smokeout, and 24-hour Study Hall. Attract also partners with other public health programs within the DHD, such as the sexual health program, to reach at-risk individuals with multiple health messages.
In addition, the DHD partners with commercial agencies and other public health agencies. For example, during outreach, staff will refer interested individuals to all cessation opportunities available in Washoe County. If the individual would prefer a group setting and cannot afford it, the DHD provides vouchers for a local smoking cessation program. This collaborative effort provides a complementary piece for each of the organization’s projects, creating truly comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. In addition to participating in the statewide tobacco prevention coalition, the DHD coordinates the local tobacco prevention coalition. These coalitions provide an opportunity for tobacco prevention partners to share ideas, information, resources, and funding opportunities.
Costs and ExpendituresThe funding source for this project was the Fund for A Healthy Nevada (Master Settlement Agreement) and implementation/start-up costs totaled $154,045.
ImplementationAs a result of the DHD's strategically planned activities, the Attract Social Marketing Campaign was able to provide outreach to more than 50% of young adults between 18-24 years of age on college campuses, in addition to young adults between 18-24 years of age residing in Washoe County who do not attend college. Specific activities included: (1) providing educational information and outreach through social marketing on the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) campus; (2) providing educational information and outreach to community colleges and trade school students; (3) conducting surveys of UNR students to determine the effectiveness of outreach and tobacco use rates; (4) developing a website to provide age appropriate information regarding prevention, cessation, health messages, and event promotion; and (5) identifying and collaborating with five employers to develop and deliver messages to target employees. The timeframe for carrying out and completing these tasks was August 2004 - June 2006.
Objective A: By June 30, 2006, provide outreach to 50% of young adults age 18-24 on college campuses in Washoe County.
Performance Measures: 1.) Percentage of 18-24 year olds provided outreach in targeted areas. 2.) Percentage of targeted campuses provided with educational information and outreach.
Feedback: DHD staff received the data and reported monthly on an ongoing basis to the funder. The DHD learned it was reaching more than 50% of the population through these activities. As a result, the objective was increased to reaching 75% of the target population.
Outcome: 50% of University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) students between 18-24 years of age were exposed to materials, thereby reaching the stated objectives.
Objective B: By June 30, 2006, provide outreach to young adults age 18-24, including non-college students who live in Washoe County.
Performance Measures: 1.) Number of hits received on website. 2.) Number of employers with target population participating in activities.
Feedback: DHD staff received the data and reported monthly on an ongoing basis to the funder. The DHD learned it was reaching more than 50% of the population through these activities. In addition, the DHD learned that the website was receiving a large number of hits; therefore, the DHD has began to incorporate the use of the website to futher evaluate effectiveness.
Outcome: 2,261,474 contacts with young adults between 18-24 years of age in Washoe County were made due to materials and website exposures, thereby meeting the stated objectives.
SustainabilityThe DHD is a regional agency created by the Nevada Legislature in 1969 that provides services to Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program began in 1999 and, in order to leverage resources, merged into the Chronic Disease Prevention Program in 2005. Tobacco prevention and control is a topic of great public health interest for the District Health Officer and the District Board of Health. During its strategic planning retreat in October 2005, the District Board of Health reaffirmed that chronic disease prevention, including tobacco prevention and control, is a high priority. Although the practice (Attract Social Marketing Campaign) is currently 100% grant funded, there is the possibility for continued funding using local tax dollars based on these identified priorities. In addition, the DHD is continually pursuing other funding opportunities from federal, state, and local resources.
The DHD has been successful in garnering in-kind and partner-sponsored support for Attract. Current partners include the University, hospitals, community organizations, and local businesses, including media partners. Therefore, the DHD’s plan for long-term sustainability focuses on leveraging partners and utilizing existing funding streams. While it was important to have initial funding to establish Attract in the community, many of its activities have the potential to be maintained without funding. For example, when smoke-free events are established and successful, many businesses may be willing to host these events with no fee due to the potential for profit and/or goodwill for their business.
Lessons learned related to:Objective A: DHD staff received the data and reported monthly on an ongoing basis to the funder. The DHD learned it was reaching more than 50% of the population through these activities. As a result, the objective was increased to reaching 75% of the target population.
Objective B: DHD staff received the data and reported monthly on an ongoing basis to the funder. The DHD learned it was reaching more than 50% of the population through these activities. In addition, the DHD learned that the website was receiving a large number of hits; therefore, the DHD has began to incorporate the use of the website to futher evaluate effectiveness.