Asthma

Evaluation of Campaigns & Promotions

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You can visit Evaluation on the navigation bar below for general information on evaluation. This section is designed to add to this general information by giving you special considerations for evaluating mass media campaigns.

Work with members of the community of interest to develop the messages through participatory approaches or focus groups. This can assist in ensuring that the messages are conveying what is intended to be conveyed.

For media campaigns, as with other types of interventions, it is important to assess exposure to the intervention. This can be done by for example through a telephone survey to the targeted audience to ask if they remember a particular media created for the campaign. Alternately, some have met face-to-face with members of the target audience and shown the participants pieces of the media campaign to assess familiarity with the campaign. The latter may be a better indicator of exposure, and the former attentiveness to the media. It is also important to assess the number of times the media channel played media spots.

Mass media campaigns might include an assessment of how frequently the messages were run, when they were run, and if the actual messages fit with what was intended when the messaged were developed. In addition, you could evaluate the extent to which messages were seen, whether the intended audience has heard of the campaign and how much or how many of the messages were remembered and understood. Community wide surveys could be used to measure these factors and to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes or asthma symptoms. It may be helpful to combine these with assessments of changes in other objectives such as the number of asthma action plans or reduction in exposure to things in the environment that trigger asthma symptoms.

It is also important to focus the evaluation on the specific objectives of the campaign. If the objective was to increase knowledge, it is important to assess knowledge. If the intent was to change attitudes, then it is important to assess attitudes. Similarly, it may be useful to assess if the campaign influenced readiness to change. Evaluation may include face-to-face or telephone surveys or qualitative assessments. See Evaluation for more information on how to evaluate accomplishment of intervention objectives.

If using a comparison group (i.e., individuals similar to your audience who are not receiving the campaign messages), it may be particularly important to assess exposure to the media campaign among both the intervention and comparison group. In addition, it may be helpful to helpful to use media channels that only reach the intended audience so that the comparison group is less likely to be exposed to the media message. For example, a radio station may be heard in a wide geographic area, but a local newsletter is less likely to be seen beyond the intended audience.

There are several challenges in evaluating media campaigns that should be considered:

  • With mass media campaigns, it is often difficult to establish causality (e.g., the media message reduced asthma symptoms). Some individuals might have been exposed to other asthma care messages or educational programs. Therefore, it is important to get as much information as possible about the reason individuals may change their asthma care and management. Comparison with other communities may be helpful in assessing the association between changes in asthma care and management and the specific messages conveyed in your media campaign.
  • The exact number of media messages necessary to create change or reach the intervention objectives is not known; and it is not really feasible to document exposure to specific messages or a total number of messages. Individuals may have difficulty remembering whether or not they have seen a message, let alone multiple messages with a similar look and feel to them.
  • When the mass media strategy is used along with other strategies (the most effective way to create change), it is difficult to figure out which intervention strategies led to the changes that were observed in the evaluation.

Sharing your work

The following questions have been provided to help guide the discussion you have with your partners about sharing your work with others:

  • What is the goal of sharing our work? What action do we want others to take?
  • Which group needs to take action right now? Which group is the primary audience at this moment?
  • What does this audience care about? What values do we share with this audience?
  • What is our message to this audience? What do they need to hear to take action?
  • What media outlets does our audience follow? Which newspapers do they read? Which radio stations do they listen to? Which TV newscasts do they watch?
  • Who are our opponents?
  • What is their message to our audience?

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