No amount is a safe amount
Working with the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) to improve the health, wealth, and wellbeing of 2.8 million people living in the region. Commissioned to communicate the Chief Medical Officer’s clear message around abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy.
This was even prevalent amongst midwives, adding to misunderstanding and misinformation. So, our challenge was clear, to:
- Negate inconsistent advice from healthcare professionals
- Challenge ‘proven’ opinions e.g. “I drank and my child’s fine”
- Overcome ingrained perspectives from parents, peers or partners
- Reach target audiences through the limited forum of social media
- Balance the sensitive nature of the topic
Targeting 18–44-year-old women, either pregnant or planning pregnancy, across Greater Manchester to:
- Increase awareness of the clear message – no safe time, no safe amount
- Increase awareness of the risks of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and FASD
- Encourage women not to drink during pregnancy
A digital campaign provided us with two significant luxuries; transparency and agility. With this approach, we were able to benefit from multiple routes to market with clear and effective data – we could see which campaigns were working well and which weren’t – this meant we could respond equally as fast, reworking messaging and reallocating spend on a real-time basis to optimise results.
The extended message platform served a mix of behavioural change content, educational insights, and support call outs. We delivered a 20-week digital initiative focused on specific demographics that aligned to audience personas. An effective way to disseminate mainstream content and maximise reach opportunity, working the campaign assets harder. This provided cost efficiencies and allowed us to precisely target key messaging to the segmented groups we’d previously identified.
An independent evaluation, commissioned by GMHSCP, found that the campaign was important, clear, believable, and non-judgemental, in dealing with a potentially sensitive subject matter. Over half of people (53%) responded positively to it and more than 1 in 5 thought it excellent. Additionally, amongst those who saw the campaign, a marked shift towards drinking while pregnant or planning a pregnancy was detected, with significant percentages disagreeing with statements that suggested it was acceptable.
The impact of #DRYMESTER has travelled beyond the UK, with international teams adopting the resources. It may even have entered the lexicon as a term for being abstinent in pregnancy. The first UK FASD prevalence study, led by The University of Salford has recently been completed. It ascertained that 3.6% of children in Greater Manchester may possibly have FASD – equating to 1,238 live births a year. Whilst a lack of awareness and misunderstanding of AEP and FASD persists, we believe change will happen and #DRYMESTER is leading the momentum.
Number of times #DRYMESTER content has been seen
Total times people engaged with #DRYMESTER digital content
Ratio of positive mentions on social media
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