Community-Based Prevention Marketing

Project: Lexington Tween Nutrition and Fitness Project

Project Director: Carol Bryant, Ph.D.
Location: Fayette County, Kentucky

This project was based in Lexington, Kentucky where a coalition of over 55 organizations, concerned parents, and high school students applied community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) to design and implement an intervention to prevent obesity among tweens ( 9 – 13 years of age). A coalition of community organizations and a youth board directed the CBPM process, selecting the target audiences and behaviors that were given the greatest priorities in the program, oversaw formative research, and developed and implemented a marketing plan. They also worked together to select and implement existing interventions designed to promote behaviors and change policies known to protect youth against obesity.

During the first year, the coalition and youth board selected sixth-graders as the priority population, and selected six behaviors on which to focus -- recreational physical activity, PE in the schools, TV viewing, sweetened beverage consumption, portion sizes, eating breakfast, and parental involvement. After additional training in social marketing principles and practices, the coalition provided oversight as overseeing community researchers (high school students, graduate students, and adult researchers) conducted formative research. They also pilot-tested two interventions, a "Grab N' Go" breakfast for middle school students and a summer program to promote physical activity that is based on the CDC developed program known as VERBTM.

One of the coalition’s most successful endeavors was the use of community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) to design a physical activity promotion program called VERBTM Summer Scorecard. CBPM is a community directed social change process that applies marketing theories and techniques to design, implement, and evaluate public health programs. A central feature of CBPM is community based participatory research which is used as a tool for translating evidence-based research to practice. Social marketing, the application of marketing to design and implement programs to promote socially beneficial change, is the organizing principle for CBPM. CBPM integrates community capacity building principles, behavioral theories, and marketing concepts and methodologies into a synergistic framework for designing behavior change interventions

Scorecard is a community-based extension of the national social marketing and social media campaign, VERBTM It's what you do, which provides tweens opportunities to be active in their community during the summer months. The scorecard serves as a ticket into a wide variety of fun physical activities, such as free swimming at public pools, or two-for-one skating. Tweens use the card to track their physical activity. When they have been active for a designated period of time (typically an hour) at a Scorecard site or at home, an adult signs one of the 24 squares on the card. Once all the squares are filled, the card is redeemed for physical activity-related prizes, such as flying disks and water bottles. This also makes them eligible for grand prizes, such as bicycles and YMCA memberships. The Scorecard program also increases parents’ and community partners’ commitment to provide physical activity opportunities for youth. The scorecard and accompanying promotional materials serve as reminders and offer promotional appeals to make it easier for parents to keep their children active and help businesses attract tweens to visit their facilities to try new types of physical activity.

Mixed methods were used to evaluate the VERBTM Summer Scorecard program each year and identify ways to improve program design the following summer. Program activities were observed to identify and solve problems, such as material shortages and provision of incorrect program information. Interviews with parents of tweens who did not participate also yielded valuable insights. For example, to help parents overcome transportation barriers, a partnership was established with the local public transportation agency, Lextran, allowing the Scorecard to double as a bus pass for tweens and an accompanying adult traveling to Scorecard events. Surveys conducted in Lexington-Fayette County public middle schools assessed tweens’ program exposure, program participation, physical activity levels, and, in 2006, their intention to participate the following summer.


News

VERB Summer Scorecard website at the Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation is online.

Kentucky's VERB Summer Scorecard has been recommended for national dissemination by the Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. [View Letter]


Downloadable PDF Files

Bryant, C. A., Courtney, A., Morris, C. (2005). Marketing Plan: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Physical Activity. Lexington, KY: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. [Download in PDF Format]

Morris, C., Courtney, A., Bryant, C.A. (2005). Promoting Physical Activity in the Schools: Research Report and Strategy Workbook. Lexington, KY: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. [Download in PDF Format]

Morris, C., Bryant, C.A. Courtney, A. (2005). Promoting Nutrition in the Schools: Research Report and Strategy Workbook. Lexington, KY: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. [Download in PDF Format]

Morris, C., Courtney, A., Bryant, C.A. (2005). Parental Influence on Tween Nutrition: Research Report and Strategy Workbook. Lexington, KY: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. [Download in PDF Format]

Bryant, C. A., Morris, C., Courtney, A. (2004). Promoting Physical Activity in the Community: Research Report and Strategy Workbook. Lexington, KY: Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. [Download in PDF Format]


Links


The College of Public Health at the University of South Florida is the parent organization for the Florida Prevention Research Center and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-000062. The department home for the Florida Prevention Research Center is Community and Family Health. Findings, conclusions, and comments on this web site are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please direct questions about this webpage to mpasha@health.usf.edu.