The paper discusses issues related to effective communication to the youth in regard to sexually transmitted diseases. The youth are the most prone to these diseases, and a campaign aimed at the reduction of their prevalence would be handy in sensitizing them about the existence of these diseases as well as effects of the reckless behavior. The barriers to such a campaign are also addressed so as to come up with the ways through which the challenges can be solved.
Health communication refers to the craftsmanship and method of advising, affecting, and inspiring individuals, institutions, and general public about vital wellbeing issues. Public health refers to what is done to guarantee the conditions in which individuals can lead healthy and sound lives.
The intended interest group for this wellbeing crusade includes the youth aged 16 to 25 years. Both the genders of all the ethnic affiliations will be in the focus as they all fall within the confines of the goals of this campaign. The objective of this campaign is to cut down the spread of STDs.
Involving the selected Audience
The intended interest group will be occupied with exercises that are to develop an understanding that they are to maintain a strategic distance from health risks, such as reckless sexual practices through youth improvement projects. Such programs, including those run in schools to show them how to take care of sexual issues, and plan for what is to come have been found to be effective in addressing health risks. They also help youth to build a good relationships with their guardians, schoolmates, and other groups under the study (Resnick & Siegel, 2013). Evidence suggests that these programs can be connected with long-term aim to decrease the sexual risk practices. The intended interest group will be involved through the use of social networking whereby data about STD and avoidance measures are to be spread via media.
Promotion of Public Relations
There are different courses through which one can advance public relations to the intended interest group. Questions, such as who the target audience, is make it possible to organize a campaign properly (Guion, Kent, & Diehl, 2009). There is need for distinctive messages for specific groups. In addition, there is need for distinctive channels and systems to reach each of those groups. There are various approaches to ponder over when targeting diverse gatherings and the ways they can best be reached. To start with, there is the inquiry of what group(s) to concentrate on (Guion, Kent & Diehl, 2009). Individuals can be gathered as per such characteristics as gender, ethnicity, conduct, and education level. An important aspect to consider when targeting a specific end goal is whether to regulate correspondence to those whose conduct, knowledge, or condition are to be influenced, or whether communication needs to be roundabout. To influence a populace or a part of a populace, there is need to point the message at those to whom they listen, for instance the pastorate, group pioneers, lawmakers, and so forth (Parker & Thorson, 2009).
Moreover, when coining a message for a given audience, it is important to consider its content and language to achieve a great effect on any intended interest group (Guion, Kent & Diehl, 2009). There is need to fashion the message in the light of the target audience. Arranging the content of the message appropriately is important to make it compelling. There is need to consider feelings to be evoked. The disposition of the message will benefit an arrangement to decide how individuals respond to it. If the inclination is excessively amazing, antagonistic, or alarming, attempting to make the target audience feel excessively regretful, individuals may not pay attention to it (Guion, Kent & Diehl, 2009). It requires some experience to figure out how to strike the right code. It is better to keep a constructive tone than trying to inspire negative sentiments, for example, trepidation or indignation. There are two perspectives for languages to be considered. One is the language of the target group, such as English, Spanish, Korean or Arabic. The other issue is a kind of language to be utilized as well as style. It can be formal or casual, basic or mind boggling, alluding to well-known figures and thoughts or to cloudy ones. The language issue can be addressed by distributing some handouts in two versions, written in literary language and audience dialect. The second dialect issue is more entangling. In the event that the message is excessively casual, onlookers may feel that they are the target. On the other hand, if the message is excessively formal, the target group may feel that they are not the desired audience (Tyden, 2011). Thus, there is need to use plain, clear language that communicates the message essentially and explicitly.
Intended Behavior Change
I intend to influence my target audience to refrain from leading reckless lifestyles of unprotected sex and having more than one sexual partner. Most of the members of my target audience find comfort in having more than one sexual partner as their peers dictate them that this demonstrates superiority. The key benefit of this behavior change is reduction in the risk of exposure to STDs. Having one sexual partner additionally reduces the risk of contracting STDs (Glanz, Rimer & Viswanath, 2008). It is believed that the bigger the audience that gets appropriate information about STDs, the greater the chances of reduction in new infections.
I will collaborate with the health officers within the region to help set up physical information centers for the target audience to access the desired information and have their questions answered. I will also engage charity organizations in the locality to sponsor the campaign. Religious leaders will be required, if willing, to chip in and help spread the message against the STDs. These stakeholders will greatly help the campaign. They have access to and mostly interact with the target audience so they have a better understanding how to communicate the message to the youth. They will engage me in the most effective means to reach out to the target audience, and this will make the campaign more effective. The financial support accorded will provide the audience with the necessary materials and resources as in some cases, financial assistance may be required to help them.
The high cost of such a campaign will come out as a major challenge. Posting ads on media, such as TV, online social networking services and radio, is very expensive, yet these are some of the most effective ways for disseminating information about the campaign. Another challenge will be the attitudes of the target audience towards the campaign. Most youth have a negative attitude to the subject matter of this campaign and some shy away from talking about STDs (Roper, 2013). Such people are more prone to these diseases since they lack adequate information on how to prevent them. These barriers can be addressed by looking for sponsorship for the campaign. The sponsors will help raise money to fund the campaign. I will talk to the youth in groups so that those who are shy and do not intend to discuss the issue one on one can listen as I discuss with the rest of their peers.
In summary, the fight against STDs is an important battle that humanity needs to win. Campaigns, such as this one, will play a major role in ensuring that the death toll arising from STDs is at the lowest level possible. It is thus important to engage all the stakeholders in such campaigns and treat them with all the seriousness they deserve in order to make them effective. Otherwise, posterity will brutally judge this generation as the one that failed to take its responsibilities to raise their children and left the youth to languish in the agony of STDs when there were a lot of possibilities to change the situation.
Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (Eds.). (2008). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th Ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Guion, L. A., Kent, H., & Diehl, D. C. (2009). Ethnic marketing: A strategy for marketing programs to diverse audiences. University of Florida. Web.
Parker, J. C., & Thorson, E. (Eds.). (2009). Health communication in the new media landscape. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Resnick, E. A., & Siegel, M. (2013). Marketing public health: Strategies to promote social change (3rd Ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Roper, W. L. (2013). Commentary: Condoms and HIV/STD prevention–clarifying the message. American Journal of Public Health, 83(4), 501-503.
Tyden, T. (2011). Evaluation of an STD-prevention program for Swedish university students. Journal of American College Health, 47(2), 70-75.