To report the process evaluation findings as it relates to mass media methods used to recruit and engage participants in Alcohol Free for 40 (AFF40).
Use of Theory or Research
The social marketing theory was used to promote voluntary behavior change and promote health strategies for participant adoption. Effective social marketing campaigns used a variety of medias such as social, mass, and digital.
Adults 21 and older looking to abstain from alcohol to improve their overall health.
AFF40 is an annual 40-day voluntary alcohol abstinence challenge that is hosted by the Ochsner Eat FitTM team of registered dietitians. Participants are challenged to abstain from alcohol consumption for 40 days to promote better health. Strategic planning is used to develop, implement, and evaluate media content (recruitment and program related) across multiple communication channels.
Process evaluation included the tracking of reach, engagement rates, impressions, reactions, downloads, and pageviews from multiple media sources.
During the four months of recruitment and program implementation, the AFF40 Facebook and Instagram pages published 62 posts, reached 104,080 people, recorded 530 new page follows, and had an engagement rate of 6.97% (engagement/reach*100). The AFF40 Facebook group had 934 active members and 4,189 reactions. The AFF40 website registered 719 unique pageviews and the Ochsner blog resulted in 4,796 unique pageviews across six alcohol related articles. Print media garnered 750,000 impressions across 3 newspaper articles. A 2-month span of radio segments (5 times per day each week) added 276,500 impressions. Six television news segments aired with indeterminable reach.
Using technology in the form of mass media allowed for wide participant reach and program engagement in AFF40. Future community-based program efforts may consider the use of multiple communication channels in recruiting, engaging, and disseminating program information. We believe the use of multiple channels, rather than singular, was key to program success in promoting behavior change.