Social Marketing Techniques for Public Health Communication: A Review of Syphilis Awareness Campaigns in 8 US Cities

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Objectives:To describe the social marketing approaches used to increase syphilis awareness in 8 US cities.Methods:We reviewed the typical academic approach for developing social marketing campaigns and interviewed health department staff responsible for social marketing campaigns in each city.Results:Using social marketing techniques such as target segmentation, concept testing of materials, and formative evaluation, campaign planners throughout the 8 cities developed a variety of approaches to reach their target audiences. Preliminary results suggest 71% to 80% of men who have sex with men interviewed were aware of the campaigns, and 45% to 53% of them reported they were tested due to the campaigns.Conclusions:Campaigns should address the local epidemic and target audience with culturally appropriate messages.

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