Case study, Pages 6 (1499 words)
In the following case study, we will analyze the Keep It Strong campaign, an initiative released in 2007, by the Emory Jane Fonda Center to promote healthy adolescent relationships and eradicate adolescent dating abuse in Atlanta. BackgroundBeing an adolescent represents a period of development. A time of transitions when the body starts to present biological and physical changes and social interaction begins to transform. During the adolescence, a person experiments different emotions and feelings, and that is when dating relationships can appear.
According to Furman and Shaffer, romantic relationships are an exciting new part of life for adolescents (Furman and Shaffer, 2003); however, sometimes that fun can disappear under violent experiences.
In the United States, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey of 2009 showed that 10 percent of adolescent relationships result in physical violence. Specific demographics are more likely to experience dating violence, including African American adolescents, and older adolescents (ages 16-18) who have a significantly greater risk of involvement in abusive relationships (Lambert et al.
, 2014). Moreover, the survey also revealed that both sexes perpetuate physical aggression. To face this problem, in 2007, the Keep It Strong Atlanta communication campaign was released to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence. To reach and increase the participation of adolescents in Atlanta, the campaign researchers recognized the importance of using the communications channels that teens preferred. In a report from 2010, the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicated that: 9 out of 10 adolescents, between 12 and 17, have access to the internet; while 73-80 percent participate in one or more networking sites (Lenhart et al.
, 2010). The data collected suggested that internet and social media could be a proper and effective approach to reach the target audience. With this information, the Emory Jane Fonda Center investigators developed formative research focused on studying the impact of message receptiveness, source evaluation, and behavioral changes as a result of messages exposure (Lambert et al., 2014) in digital channels. In other words, the team wanted to analyze the online engagement of the adolescents with the campaign.
The campaign target audience is young adolescents among 11 ” 14 years old who live in Atlanta and are vulnerable to dating violence. The campaign does not make differentiations on gender and ethnic groups. Logo Keep It Strong campaignFormative ResearchDue to the campaign was released in 2007; in 2010, researchers wanted to analyze the effectiveness of the campaign during its pilot testing period. For that reason, they used the formative research as a tool to understand if the messages directed at the target audience were relevant, and if the campaign website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and Pinterest) were reaching the audience (Lambert et al., 2014).
Keep It Strong website
Keep It Strong fan pageTo develop the formative research, the investigators recruited: four full-staff members who were responsible for developing and implementing the social media campaign, eight campaign teen leaders, and three key informants specialized in adolescent health and health communication. The 15 participants were asked to participate in a focus group and qualitative interviews. After the interview, the participants also completed a quantitative survey.The interviews, surveys and focus groups were done between August and December 2012. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights were also used to monitor the traffic and interaction of the target audience on the website and social media profiles. The researchers gathered the data of the site and social media accounts from 2010 to 2012. Theoretical application The campaign is based in the Prospect Theory.
A concept created by the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in 1979, which states that decision-making depends on choosing among options that may themselves rest on biased judgments. (McDermott, 2016). Based on this theory, the campaign developed gain-frame messages; and the target audience received content that reinforced the benefits of preventing violence, and building and maintaining healthy relationships.
The Keep It Strong campaign used positive content to promote healthy dating behaviors among teens between 11 to 14 years old. For this case study, I will detail the content presented in the website and social media platforms of the campaign. These messages were exposed to the target audience since the release of the campaign until 2012 (pilot testing period). The key messages and type of contents were:- Start Strong, Keep It Strong.- Keep it real, Keep it fun, Keep it happy, and Keep It Strong. – Dating should not feel like a drama. – The campaign also shared: facts about why the school is an important place for preventing teen dating violence; quotes or videos from experts, leaders, and youth; and interactive resources like a test to identify How healthy is your relationship?
For the analytics strategy, the focus groups and in-depth interviews were guided by the four social marketing principles. The researchers used questions related to the campaign (product), dissemination of the messages (promotion), the opportunity cost of time spent in digital platforms (price), and the utility and feasibility of digital channels to reach the target audience (place).To develop the qualitative analysis, the investigators used the constant comparative method. For the quantitative analysis, the researchers used the SPSS 20.0 software to identify the frequency, perceived effectiveness, reach and adherence to the campaign. Regarding the website and social media, the team analyzed tracking statistics in Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
From the mixed methods, researchers discovered the following key results: Adolescents ranked the campaign at 8.25/10 for reducing violence, and 8.67/10 for promoting healthy relationships. The adults’ participants ranked 7.83 in both categories. Adolescents recommend keeping using social media, particularly: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to disseminate prevention messages. Facebook and Twitter seem to present the most appeals for teens between 11 to 14 years. The campaign has a corporate and a personal account. The personal page got 6.5/10; while the corporate, 4.33/10. According to the participants, the pages with the least appeal were Pinterest and Flickr. Participants recommend the researchers to be aware of the teen’s social media usage to improve the publications timing and achieve a high level of visibility. They recommend posting key messages at night. Researchers also identified the need for focused selections channels. Considering social media metrics, on Facebook, only 3.5 percent of likes came from the target audience. 66.1 percent of the users who liked the page were females, outside the target audience age. Google Analytics revealed that the campaign website generated 2929 unique visitors, 9618 page views, and 866 return visitors. Researchers discovered that the majority of web users (43. 8 percent) were between 18 and 24 years old.
This group is not in the target audience range. The web traffic increased when it was intertwined with Facebook and Twitter postings. About messages evaluation: In the focus groups, teens liked and recognized the importance of positive messaging. However, they mentioned the necessity of introducing content closer to the victims. For example, additional support. Regarding the tone, the researchers identified that the posts with more likes and shares were humorous; and social media can be a channel to convey educational messages. The researchers also identified that the campaign must continue showing a positive tone. However, teens also need information to identify unhealthy behaviors. The results presented are in the article: A formative evaluation of social media campaign to reduce adolescent dating violence (Lambert et al., 2014).Finally, the formative research and metrics evaluations were useful to the researchers due to they identified that the campaign was not reaching its target audience on digital platforms. Besides, the investigators recognized the importance of involving secondary audiences (parents and other adults) to create more awareness around the topic with adolescents.
Additional comment:From my view, the present case study is a reference to recognize the importance of digital platforms to reach younger audiences, and give value to their voices as a prior step to developing campaigns. As a critique, I consider the research groups (focus group, interview, and survey) should have had broader youth participation, and researchers could have used other method to understand better the social media preferences of the target audience. Besides, accessibility policies had to be considered from the beginning of the digital strategy. Finally, I must mention that the campaign is no longer active, and its learnings were used to improve the Futures without violence campaign among teenagers (www.futureswithoutviolence.org), which is currently online.
- Furman W., Shaffer L. (2003). The role of romantic relationships in adolescent development. In Florsheim P. (Ed.), Adolescent romantic relations and sexual behavior: Theory, research, and practical implications (pp. 3-22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Lambert, D. N., Bishop, L. E., Guetig, S., and Frew, P. M. (2014). A formative evaluation of social media campaign to reduce adolescent dating violence. JMIR research protocols, 3(4), e64. doi:10.2196/resprot.3546
- Lenhart A, Purcell K, Smith A, Zickuhr K. Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2010). Social media and mobile internet use among teens and young adults.
- McDermott, Rose. (2016). Prospect theory. Retrieved from: Start Strong, Keep It Strong. (2014). Website Start Strong Atlanta.