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Speaking of Health: Assessing Health Communication Strategies for Diverse Populations
a hallmark of the campaign (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2000; Johnston, O’Malley, and Bachman, 2001).
Antitobacco campaigns have had a strong mandate from their funders to focus on youth. The Florida Tobacco Pilot Program originated from the $200 million initially allocated from Florida’s $11.3 billion settlement with the tobacco industry. These funds supported design and implementation of a state-run program to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use (Florida “truth” campaign). Similarly, the National Truth Campaign was launched as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement among 46 states, 5 U.S. territories, and the tobacco industry, which established the Legacy Foundation and a Public Education Fund to support the campaign. Although intended audiences were predetermined by the sponsor or funding source, most of the campaigns mentioned conducted their own public relations and marketing research to identify communication strategies to most effectively reach subgroups within the diverse audience segments selected (Massari, 2000).
Campaigns often include plans to shift or expand intended audiences over time as part of their communication objectives. For example, the Folic Acid Campaign uses a stage-market segmentation plan, whereby it broadens its audience segments in progressive phases, gradually including all women of childbearing age and focusing on those who are at highest risk.
Communication campaigns often redefine their intended audiences over time, as they learn more about their audiences. In several cases, campaign implementers identified audiences who were not responding to the general campaign communication strategies, and created separate or specialized campaigns for those audiences. This was made possible by good quantitative research before and during intervention implementation, which allowed for the diagnosis of disparities in effects. Two such campaigns include the Back to Sleep Campaign and the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, both of which used continuous tracking and evaluation to identify gaps in audience knowledge and behavior and to readjust campaign strategies. Throughout the course of implementation, the National High Blood Pressure Education Pro-