Connect and Protect PA

situation
strategy
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Youth today are literally bombarded with messages telling them what they should and should not do. Behavioral targeting by corporate interests, risk communication by government agencies and peer-to-peer messaging within their age cohorts all serve to create a confusing cacophony of voices and opinions. And yet, at its core, effective social marketing means crafting messages that resonate and lead to behavior change in new lasting ways. The question, of course, is how to do this effectively. The illicit and illegal misuse of prescription drugs is on the rise in the United States, with teenagers and young adults leading the demographic curve of increased abuse. Therefore, it is essential that messages succeed in generating awareness -- and leading youth and parents to better choices.

Recognizing that the overwhelming volume of risk communication messages targeting teens are negative, Wendt Partners chose a different path when retained to develop a sustainable communications model around youth prescription drug abuse. Rather than take the negative approach, the new model emphasized a positive message platform centered on empowerment and sharing. The sharing theme also offered targeted pathways for parents seeking to address prescription drug abuse with their children, and for teens interested in helping themselves and their friends. This positive focus is even more critical when discussing prescription drugs, since if properly prescribed and used, these same substances are legitimate and essential healing tools.

The result of this approach was a positive, colorful and engaging communications program that provided valuable, fact-based information in a respectful and mature manner. The messaging and marketing elements were crafted from solid, evidence-based research and supported by integrated deliverables that included web, mobile, social media, online gaming and pay-per-click components as well as traditional advertising, public awareness communications and PSAs. Connect and Protect rapidly became a recognized phrase associated with healthy, proactive behavior among teens and parents, providing a succesful platform for increasing awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Sectors:

Education, Nonprofit

Services:

Strategic Consulting, Branding & Messaging, Integrated Communications

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Connecting with parents and teens regarding substance prevention can be a difficult challenge. Wendt Partners assisted us in creating a campaign that focused on each target audience individually and provided the components to effectively communicate our message.
Melissa Rau, Executive Director, Drug Free Pennsylvania

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