Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Terrible Headline Writing

So I've had this in my inbox to write for a while now, and after making it through NCA this seemed like the time to do it. There is always talk about how journalists cover research, and this one just caught my eye on Twitter a while ago.

The headline: Moms manipulated into buying their kids unhealthy food, study says

So I thought this was interesting, and off I go to the story here.

It's an interesting study looking at how different products are being marketed to parents and kids. Fine. Here is the first sentence in the 9th paragraph: Emond and her team did not look at whether ads directed at parents influenced what they purchased.

I live in a School of Advertising, but I'm certainly not a fan of all advertising. Most of it, even. But if everyone involved in these kinds of stories and debates - public health researchers and advocates, journalists, etc. - aren't being honest and accurate in what they're talking about, I think we'll fail to make real progress on marketing to kids.

Friday, November 13, 2015

2016 International Symposium: Defining a Roadmap for Implementation of Social Media in Population and Community Health Initiatives

There's a conference coming up in Austin that might be of interest to readers, especially if you're semi-local. Here's the overview:

The 2016 International Symposium, "Defining a Roadmap for Implementation of Social Media in Population and Community Health Initiatives" will bring together public health professionals, students, and content experts to develop a better understanding of the current state of best practices of using social media in public health. The end goal of the symposium will be a white paper describing a comprehensive Roadmap for implementation and evaluation for use of Social Media in public and population health initiatives.

If you're interested, head to the website:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Duke School of Nursing: I Don't Say

I've had this sitting in my e-mail for a while, so I've been meaning to post about this for a couple months. The Duke School of Nursing put out a campaign about offensive language, and it's a sharp looking set of images/ads. You can see the full set here, including the image at right. There is a story on the Duke website here.

These kinds of campaigns are really interesting to me for a variety of reasons. They make me think a lot about some of the media coverage around the term "illegals" that popped up a while ago when it comes to immigration issues. Bob Garfield (from On the Media) had at least one good segment on OTM about this, and I'm pretty sure it popped up on Lexicon Valley at some point. (Lexicon Valley is a wonderful show for word freaks. Be warned: the last couple episodes are quite colorful.)

I'd love to see communication-oriented research on how these kinds of campaigns can have a real effect on how people use these words, or don't, or even cause the meaning of the words themselves to evolve over time. In any event, it's a nice-looking campaign that I wanted to share.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Matching Temporal Frame, Self-View, and Message Frame Valence: Improving Persuasiveness in Health Communications

The Journal of Advertising has a new issue out dedicated to health advertising that you all might be interested in. The entire issue is online here.

A project I'm involved with is part of this cool special issue, which I'm really excited about. The study is Matching Temporal Frame, Self-View, and Message Frame Valence: Improving Persuasiveness in Health Communications.

The abstract of the study is:
This work examines the interplay between temporal frame and one's accessible self-view on consumer response to health communication. We find an independent self-view is more persuasive with a distal temporal frame (versus proximal frame), and an interdependent self-view is more persuasive with a proximal temporal frame (versus distal frame). Message frame valence (gain versus loss) moderates the interplay between temporal frame and self-view. In addition, message concreteness and message persuasiveness are revealed as mediators to the interplay between temporal frame and self-view. Interestingly, the mediating process varies depending on one's accessible self-view. These findings offer guidance for health communication marketers' use of temporal frames and self-view.
Go check it out, it looks like a great issue - lots of good stuff to read!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Advancing Health Marketing Research and Policy Recommendations by Incorporating Source Perspectives

I just had an article come out at Health Marketing Quartrely that you might be interested in - Advancing Health Marketing Research and Policy Recommendations by Incorporating Source Perspectives. The abstract is:

Communication researchers, recognizing the message sent is not necessarily the same as the message received, have incorporated the perspective of advertising professionals into the study of advertising effects. Health marketing research could similarly benefit from incorporating this largely absent perspective into the academic and policy debate surrounding the impact of advertising on health issues ranging from obesity to alcohol use. This commentary serves as a call to action to stakeholders in this academic and policy debate: focus on the perspective of advertising professionals to enrich health marketing and public health research in which advertising is the delivery vehicle for health messages.

It sprang from my work interviewing the people who design drug ads and a broader experience that the voice of advertising professionals is largely absent from a lot of advertising/public health/policy debates. I think that these debates would be much more informed if the voices of the people actually designing the ads were included.

The reference is:

Mackert, M., Guadagno, M, & Champlin, S. (2015) Advancing Health Marketing Research and Policy Recommendations by Incorporating Source Perspectives. Health Marketing Quarterly, 32 (3), 250-262.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Health Literacy: A Colloquium at Health Communication

One of the prouder moments of my academic life came online earlier this month, which was good timing for Health Literacy Month. It's a colloquium at the journal Health Communication on health literacy, which began life as an article I submitted and morphed into a really amazing opportunity to work with some leaders in health literacy research. The articles that make up the colloquium are...

Introduction to a Colloquium: Challenges and Opportunities in Advancing Health Literacy Research

The Many Health Literacies: Advancing Research or Fragmentation?

Why We Need the Concept of “Mental Health Literacy”

Advocating for a Population-Specific Health Literacy for People With Visual Impairments

Health Literacy Research: Isn’t There Something Better We Could Be Doing?

Health Literacy Research and Practice: A Needed Paradigm Shift

Should We Be Afraid of Simple Messages? The Effects of Text Difficulty and Illustrations in People With Low or High Health Literacy

The lead authors on all of these pieces - Jorm, Harrison, Weiss, Pleasant, and Meppelink - were amazing to work with. And I can't thank Teri Thompson at Health Communication enough for the chance to pull this together. I think this set of articles has a lot to offer the field, go check them out!

(And I'm not out from a NIH grant submission deadline - whew! - so more posts will be coming shortly.)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Account Planning: Applying an Advertising Discipline to Health Communication and Social Marketing

Anyone interested in this article might want to check out this link to get the article for free: Account Planning: Applying an Advertising Discipline to Health Communication and Social Marketing.

This is an article about how an advertising agency role - the account planner - can be applied to improve the design of health communication and social marketing campaigns.  The abstract is:

As health marketers seek new models to design campaigns, the advertising discipline of account planning offers an approach that can improve campaign development. The underlying principle of account planning is to bring the consumer perspective to all phases of campaign development, primarily through qualitative formative research. Account planners design the overall communication strategy and contribute to creative development of individual executions. The creative brief, a primary tool of account planning, is especially useful in conceptualizing campaigns. This report discusses the history and approach of account planning, followed by an example of account planning in the design of a social marketing campaign.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Preventing Chronic Disease 2016 Student Research Paper Contest Now Open

FYI, for students out there doing research in the prevention of chronic disease...


Do you know an exceptional student who’s doing great work in the field of chronic disease prevention and health promotion? Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is currently taking submissions for its 2016 Student Research Paper Contest.

The journal is looking for high school, undergraduate and graduate students as well as medical residency and recent post-doctoral fellows to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, and/or population-based intervention of chronic disease, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Help us spread the word by sharing this call for participation with your students, colleagues, and friends.

Papers must be received electronically no later than 5:00 PM EST on January 18, 2016. Additional information and detailed submission guidelines are available on the PCD website at and in the flyer posted here:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kentucky Conference on Health Communication: Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts is now open for the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication, which this year will be from April 14-16, 2016. Everyone who goes to the KCHC has an amazing time, so this is definitely a conference to submit something to and attend. If you're interested in more, head to the conference website: