Physical Activity

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. 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. Community-wide surveys could be used to measure these factors and to assess changes knowledge, attitudes or physical activity behavior. Alternately, it may be useful to determine whether the number of physical activity programs offered in the community has increased as a result of the media messages. This might involve conducting interviews with representatives of the organizations who are offering these programs.

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 caused fifty community members to walk for 30 minutes five days per week). Some individuals might have increased their physical activity on their own and others may have been influenced by a friend, a co-worker or another mass media campaign in their area. Therefore, it is important to get as much information as possible about the reason for the increase in physical activity.
  • 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.

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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