FHI 360 conducted a media intervention study to determine how a paid mass media intervention could increase traffic to an online lifestyle change program (LCP) from the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) and drive enrollment in the program among rural audiences in North Carolina. The study, which employed a quasi-experimental design, was focused on people at risk for diabetes in five rural North Carolina counties (four intervention, one control) and aimed to identify the lowest effective media dose, optimal media mix and most effective messages to enroll qualifying residents in North Carolina State University’s “Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes” online LCP.
The study employed intentional “message spill” from a variety of media channels and was designed to expose families of those at risk for diabetes, their friends and the community at large to the campaign messages and facilitate word of mouth, family support and broader awareness of diabetes and the online LCP.
We employed a “build” approach to determine the optimal media mix, beginning with a lower media dose and a single channel per county and making adjustments based on a monthly data review. We developed media assets based on high-performing messages and lessons learned from a previous paid digital media campaign conducted for this online LCP.
Findings from this study will help other LCPs design and implement paid media campaigns to promote their programs, particularly among rural audiences. Findings were summarized in a series of National DPP resources produced for the CDC.