Norms Alcohol Media Campaign for 2000-2001
Health Enhancement Services
University Health Service
Northern Illinois University
The social marketing
program at Northern Illinois University using campus alcohol norms has
been conducted since the Fall 1989 semester. During the past 12 years,
Health Enhancement Services (HES) of the University Health Service has
employed various strategies to communicate the selected norms messages
to the students.
All posters regarding
alcohol issues are norms-based. The main message has nearly always been
"Most students drink moderately," with supporting messages
of, "Most students drink 5 or fewer drinks when they party,"
or "Most men drink 0-5 drinks & most women drink 0-3 drinks
when they party," depending on the year.
Most recently, our
main message has been, "Most students drink moderately. .. . here's
how: . . ." Our supporting messages are alcohol protective behaviors
which we identified from our annual survey. We found that the following
5 behaviors were related to one another and also related to less risk
of physical injury to self and others: 1) Pace drinks to one or less
per hour, 2) Keep track of how much you drink, 3) Determine in advance
how many drinks you will consume, 4) Choose not to drink, and 5) Avoid
For NIU students,
76% reported always or usually practicing at least one of these behaviors
when they "party." Since these protective behaviors are also
normative, they have become part of our main messages. We are still
awaiting our Spring 2001 ACHA/NCHA frequency reports to identify whether
or not we have been able to "grow protection," to borrow a
phrase from Michael Haines, my predecessor at HES, which would be demonstrated
by an increase in reported use of alcohol protective behaviors.
The primary methodology
used in the social marketing campaign at HES is print media. Other methods
have been supportive of the print campaign over the years, as well.
Currently, print media is focused in three main areas:
We keep campus and bus posters up for two weeks at a time. The information
on the campus and bus posters is identical, even though the poster orientation
is different (campus - portrait; bus - landscape). We change posters
8 times in a year, with no new posters put up after Thanksgiving during
Fall Semester and Spring Break during Spring Semester. Some of the posters
are identical though most are at least different designs, if not different
information. Similar posters were posted both Fall and Spring semesters.
Poster. This is a poster which includes a number of different health
messages, including social norm information about alcohol and tobacco.
It is distributed to every residence hall room, preferably at the beginning
of the Fall semester. Putting up the poster is reinforced by a $5 incentive
if our student representative finds the poster up in a student's room.
In general, HES
places 2 alcohol-related ads per week up until Thanksgiving during Fall
semester and up until Spring Break during Spring semester. Exceptions
are the first week of school. We don't generally put anything in the
paper then since it is filled with other advertisements that week and
visibility would be poor. Similar ads were placed Fall and Spring semesters.
Total ads placed during Fiscal Year 2001 included the following:
Fall 2000 - placed
ads 19 times, some ads were duplicates.
Spring 2001 - placed ads 16 times, some ads were duplicates.
Handouts and fliers
are available throughout the semester at various resource sites around
campus. Some of the handouts pertaining to alcohol and other drugs are
social norms-based, while others are more strictly informational.
was kindly provided by Amy Franklin, Health Enhancement Services, University
Health Service, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. If you
would like additional information regarding NIU's alcohol media campaign,
you can write to Amy at: email@example.com.
of the information presented on this page were originally prepared by Michael
Haines and Richard Rice and are printed here with their permission.