Positive Health Campaigns
Professional educators and volunteers who deliver programs to other educators, parents, or teen mentors usually know that the learning experience should "do no harm" to the target audience. There are several tenets to which public health awareness campaigns and school, community, and workplace interventions should adhere.
Here's a brief description of principles that promote effective and positive health communication for those educators and trainers who may be new to delivering health information.
Stay Positive—Research Shows:
- Scare tactics lead to fear and short-term change.
It's easy to fall into the trap of presenting horrific, graphic teen car crash images. We often see campaign materials and videos depicting the worst case scenarios that show the aftermath of car crashes, serious injuries, or even death. This approach has been shown to paralyze audiences and elevate stress and anxiety and produce only short-term effects on behavior.
- Positive messages lead to long-term change.
Campaigns and learning experiences that communicate positive actions have been shown to lead parents and teens to do the same. When teens and parents act in a healthy, protective manner which are also considered to be the norm, programs that reinforce this behavior can lead to long-term change.