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Using social marketing to promote cold and flu prevention behaviors on an Australian university campus

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Background:

    Cold and influenza transmission is a serious public health issue for

    universities. This case study describes a coordinated social marketing campaign

    that incorporated health messages and products. It was designed to motivate

    behavior change to prevent the spread of colds and influenza on a university

    campus.

    Methods:

    The aims of this multi-component intervention were to raise awareness

    of the importance of individual behavior in preventing the spread of colds and flu

    and to encourage staff and students to adopt three simple habits: hand washing,

    cough or sneeze in sleeve, and stay at home if sick. A repeated, cross-sectional

    survey design assessed the following pre- and post-campaign: salience of colds

    and flu; perceived severity of, and susceptibility to, colds and flu; beliefs about

    effective prevention strategies; and engagement in preventative behaviors.

    Campaign message and product recall were assessed post-campaign.

    Results:

    Campaign message recall was high (over 80% of staff and 70% of

    students); fewer staff (one-third) or students (one-quarter) recalled campaign

    products. Few pretest-posttest differences were observed in perceived

    susceptibility or severity. Recognition of “cough or sneeze into your sleeve” as

    an effective prevention strategy increased pre- to post-campaign (a percentage

    increase of 39.6% for staff and 25.1% for students); campaign exposed

    respondents were significantly more likely than unexposed to rate this strategy as

    effective post-campaign. Substantial pretest-posttest percentage increases in the

    top ranked prevention strategies were found for the three core messages: “hand

    washing” (51% for students); “cough in sleeve” (59.2%, staff; 71.1%, students);

    and “stay at home if sick” (120%, staff).

    Conclusions:

    This setting-based intervention clearly reached staff and students

    with the primary messages. Success can be attributed to using consumer insight

    to develop multiple marketing messages and strategies, rather than a single-

    strategy communication campaign.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Phillipson, L., Jones, S. C., Larsen-Truong, K., Robinson, L. & Barrie, L. (2013). Using social marketing to promote cold and flu prevention behaviors on an Australian university campus. Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing, 7 99-119.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2250&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/1251

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 99

End Page


  • 119

Volume


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Background:

    Cold and influenza transmission is a serious public health issue for

    universities. This case study describes a coordinated social marketing campaign

    that incorporated health messages and products. It was designed to motivate

    behavior change to prevent the spread of colds and influenza on a university

    campus.

    Methods:

    The aims of this multi-component intervention were to raise awareness

    of the importance of individual behavior in preventing the spread of colds and flu

    and to encourage staff and students to adopt three simple habits: hand washing,

    cough or sneeze in sleeve, and stay at home if sick. A repeated, cross-sectional

    survey design assessed the following pre- and post-campaign: salience of colds

    and flu; perceived severity of, and susceptibility to, colds and flu; beliefs about

    effective prevention strategies; and engagement in preventative behaviors.

    Campaign message and product recall were assessed post-campaign.

    Results:

    Campaign message recall was high (over 80% of staff and 70% of

    students); fewer staff (one-third) or students (one-quarter) recalled campaign

    products. Few pretest-posttest differences were observed in perceived

    susceptibility or severity. Recognition of “cough or sneeze into your sleeve” as

    an effective prevention strategy increased pre- to post-campaign (a percentage

    increase of 39.6% for staff and 25.1% for students); campaign exposed

    respondents were significantly more likely than unexposed to rate this strategy as

    effective post-campaign. Substantial pretest-posttest percentage increases in the

    top ranked prevention strategies were found for the three core messages: “hand

    washing” (51% for students); “cough in sleeve” (59.2%, staff; 71.1%, students);

    and “stay at home if sick” (120%, staff).

    Conclusions:

    This setting-based intervention clearly reached staff and students

    with the primary messages. Success can be attributed to using consumer insight

    to develop multiple marketing messages and strategies, rather than a single-

    strategy communication campaign.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Phillipson, L., Jones, S. C., Larsen-Truong, K., Robinson, L. & Barrie, L. (2013). Using social marketing to promote cold and flu prevention behaviors on an Australian university campus. Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing, 7 99-119.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2250&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/1251

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 99

End Page


  • 119

Volume


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • United States