Advances in health care have made extraordinary changes in the life expectancy and level of vitality of the average American. Still, according to the U. S. Surgeon General, a full one-half of all premature deaths are due to lifestyle and, therefore, preventable. This important collection presents a comparative synthesis of what works and what does not in mass media health campaigns. High priority is given to coverage of substance abuse prevention campaigns, but programs on AIDS, smoking, teenage pregnancy, heart disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and vehicle seat belt use are also reviewed. Designing Health Communication Campaigns deepens our understanding of how to design, implement, and evaluate mass media campaigns by highlighting the contributions of media experts who add a human element to the various campaign experiences they describe. This work is indispensable in a fast-evolving field where it serves as both a reference and a concordance for interpreting many other analytic sources. Campaign designers, researchers, communications scholars and graduate students as well as policymakers and program funders will find the book to be valuable in helping make critical decisions about effective mass communication campaigns. “This volume is valuable because it emphasizes actual experiences, and is thus recommended as an adjunct to classic texts in the field. Graduate; faculty; professional.” – Choice

Generalizations about Health Communication Campaigns

Generalizations about Health Communication Campaigns
Generalizations about health communication campaigns


Our research—an extensive literature review combined with 29 campaign designer interviews—identified 27 generalizations about what makes for effective health communication campaigns. While an emphasis has been placed throughout this study on mass media campaigns for substance abuse prevention and high-risk youth, these findings are not limited to substance abuse campaigns, but may be applied in other campaigns, perhaps with certain modifications.

These generalizations have a common construction—they speak of characteristics of “more effective” campaigns. No assumption is made that one characteristic is more important than another, or that any one is essential for success. The generalizations are derived from both empirical and analytic work, and were selected on the basis of their appearance in some fairly clear ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles