“Did I forget my phone!?” and other fears of our generation

generation pic

As crazy as it might be, the picture above couldn’t be more accurate. In today’s world, having your mobile device with you is crucial to surviving the day. It helps us stay connected to our friends, stores our daily schedules, allows us to capture and share photos throughout the day, helps order dinner, and figure out the fastest way to get home from work. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this picture:

This is a typical day in a life of a commuter. Everyone is so occupied with their phones, that not one person is engaged in any “real” interaction. According to an article published in Women’s Health, an average young woman spends 10 hours a day on her phone. That is a pretty crazy if you think about it! So why not make sure that the time a person spends on their phone is actually useful? You can still dedicate an hour or two to all of your blogs and social media forums, but what can you do in the other 8 or so others? How about help start a public health campaign!

Based on successful campaigns from 2014, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Consider using ads to promote your message

When used appropriately, ads can help promote your cause pretty easily. Let’s say you are trying to promote healthier eating behavior among teenagers. By placing adds on website that are visited by your target population, you can ensure that your campaign gets seen. You can track the campaign’s success by keeping track of how many “clicks” your add gets. Some tips to keep in mind: make sure that you don’t “over advertize” and test to ensure that your add can be easily clicked on and the person is directed to the important information right away.

2. Consider sponsoring a relevant product

This is an easy way to get people to like your product before they even know anything about it. For instance, if you are trying to promote a campaign about the importance of healthy eating, you may consider sponsoring a paid app that keeps track of your daily calories. This way people who are downloading the app don’t have to spend their own money on it! In return, the app would say that it is sponsored by your campaign and that in order to use it, the customer needs to watch a short video about your campaign, or visit your website to get the free code. Although this method would cost money upfront, it could lead to a lot of supporters.

3. Make it personal!

People like it when a message is personal. Not only does it make it more relatable, but it also creates an impression that the person was specifically kept in mind when the campaign was designed. Trying to advertize better hygiene? Make an app that allows your to enter every time you wash your hands, or apply hand sanitizer. Then, send alerts and reminders to the user when its time to was their hands again, or things that they can do during a cold to minimize spreading germs. Going that “extra mile” can help you achieve success and ensure that your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

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3 thoughts on ““Did I forget my phone!?” and other fears of our generation

  1. Hi Luda,

    What an interesting post, I like how you’ve provided 3 really great tips on how to use mobile campaigns for public health. And I must say, I really like how you started off your post. Every time I look up (from my own cell phone) on my commute home from work, I see the exact same thing. Everyone’s eyes are glued to their cell phones. I must say, it’s a great time to catch up on emails and text messages and just other things in life! However, I like who you’ve framed your argument. The same time that people spend catching up on “life” could be a great time to capitalize on effective public health messaging. As I read through the three tips that you provided, I thought it would be nice to pair up each of them with an example. So I looked up a few examples and found some really interesting stuff.

    For the first tip, using ads to promote public health. I came across a really interesting public health campaign in New York City called “Latch on NYC” which was meant to promote breastfeeding. I really liked the posters for this campaign – they were simple, culturally diverse, included important information in a couple words. Twelve NYC private hospitals participated in this campaign and these posters were placed in these hospitals. There was also a different poster that was posted in NYC subways. Here’s the website I found: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pregnancy/html/after/latchonnyc-hospital-posters.shtml

    For the second tip, sponsoring a smartphone app through a public health campaign for healthy eating is a great idea. I found a list on Forbes.com that features the top 10 healthy eating apps and a lot of them are free and compatible with more than one type of phone. It seems like some of these would be good to recommend as part of a public health campaign that is targeted towards healthy eating. I guess this also relates to your third tip, because smartphone apps are often personalized. I especially like the app called “MyFitnessPal” which allows you to track your weight and your food intake (among other features). Also, aside from these features that make this a personalized app, you can also communicate with other app users which builds in a sense of community support. You can see the list that I found here:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pregnancy/html/after/latchonnyc-hospital-posters.shtml

    Do you use smartphone apps? Have you been interested in getting more apps since we started this course? I can say that I’m definitely more curious to look at what kinds of apps are available, even if I don’t get all of them!!

  2. I liked your suggestions about effective text campaigns, particularly the idea of using sponsored apps. I did not realize that apps could be sponsored. According to Heather Mansfield’s book Social Media for Social Good, an app should be useful, and your idea of having an app to track calories as part of a campaign for healthy evening is a good example.

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