Utilizing media is an effective way to influence attitudes and opinions about a program, issue or a product. There are two general forms of media campaigns, social marketing and media advocacy.
Social marketing uses traditional advertising methods to influence individual behavior and requires purchasing print, broadcast and online ad space. Media advocacy involves garnering media attention by developing relationships with reporters and is often used to influence public policy by sending a message to legislators through the media.
The NAM campaigns presented here utilize a 2-prong approach: placement of advertisements and engagement of stakeholders in message development.
Kaiser Permanente and New America Media agreed to partner in building an advertorial campaign that served a dual purpose: transmitting culturally competent health information to ethnic Californians and supporting ethnic media's bottom line.
The advertorial took the shape of a monthly health advice column, "A Doctor's Word," written by ethnic physicians on health issues in their communities. The column made its debut in June 2004 with a physician-authored column that ran in nearly 30 ethnic publications in five languages. Since then, "A Doctor's Word" has reached more than 5.5 million readers of 49 different ethnic publications with critical health information.
Monthly columns, authored by over a dozen KP physicians have covered topics like cervical cancer, insomnia, depression, exercise, pregnancy, hypertension and bird flu. These have been published in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese, reaching Chinese, Filipino, Korean, South Asian, Spanish, Vietnamese, African American and other ethnic audiences.
In addition to the monthly columns, the campaign has featured a series of roundtable discussions to foster ongoing communication between Kaiser staff and journalists from the ethnic media.
In 2005, the campaign also launched an ad-buy. NAM and KP worked together to bring KP's "thrive" message, featuring tips on healthy living, to ethnic audiences.
The California Endowment's Nursing Diversity Initiative (NDI) contracted with NAM to boost health care workforce diversity in California's Central Valley, which is home to large and growing ethnic communities.Through a communications campaign and a series of brainstorming sessions and events, which brought together members of the ethnic media, health care experts, and education and community leaders, the campaign raised the visibility of California's nursing shortage crisis in ethnic communities and developed communications strategies to promote ethnic diversity in Central Valley health care workplaces.
In 2003 The California Endowment and NAM partnered on a community-based campaign that engaged leaders in the ethnic media to increase immigrants' awareness of their right to an interpreter when getting medical care - a right that could make a critical difference in quality of care.
Prior to the campaign, NAM commissioned Bendixen and Associates to conduct a poll of Limited English Proficient (LEP) Californians in 11 languages to quantify the problem. One-third of the respondents said it was often unclear how they should take prescription medications and yet just 9 percent of all respondents said they exercised their right to an interpreter. Follow-up polling in 2005 showed that thanks to the two-year advertising campaign, news briefings and editorial initiatives, including a four-column series by a physician and an essay contest, far more Californians know that they can ask for an interpreter any time they seek medical care.
Editorial coverage of the campaign message in years one and two was valued by NAM as equivalent to $880,000 in advertising, nearly half of TCE's $1.9 million investment in paid ads; the essay contest promoting audience engagement ran quarter-page ads in 25 publications over two months, valued at nearly $100,000. Total added value contributed by the ethnic media matched TCE's advertising investment fifty cents to the dollar.
In 2002, the Yes on Proposition 52 campaign contracted with NAM to boost ethnic communities' awareness about the Election Day Voter Registration Initiative, a voter proposition to enable eligible voters to register to vote on election day.
The ultimate goal of the campaign was to encourage political groups to engage ethnic voters through the ethnic media and thereby increase civic participation in ethnic communities. Proposition 52 promised to address declining voter turnout, particularly in ethnic communities, and increase overall voter participation in California by making it easier to register. Though the initiative did not pass, voter support for Prop 52 was highest in counties targeted by the campaign. Three of the four counties in which Prop 52 did pass were targeted by the campaign.
On August 18, 2008, New America Media launched a six-week public awareness campaign on gay and lesbian marriage in the Black, Hispanic and Asian American Communities of California. It involved 141 Asian, Black and Hispanic ethnic media print and radio outlets and an additional 51 ethnic media websites across California. The ads appeared in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese and Korean. The goal of the campaign was to leverage ethnic media’s role as community educators to initiate conversations about gay and lesbian marriages and their role in creating and strengthening family structures in Asian, Black and Latino communities.
The campaign opened up a public conversation among ethnic media influencers and their staffs; among ethnic media practitioners and community activists both pro- and con- same sex marriage; and among the audiences served by ethnic media. The campaign also helped to change beliefs and attitudes among practitioners and decision makers within the ethnic media sector, and increased coverage and a commitment to cover LGBT issues by media outlets that had never addressed these issues before. The campaign incubated a cohort of media practitioners who, if not all converts to gay and lesbian marriage rights, were newly aware of the relevance of the issue to their own communities.