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Step 2: Select Activities

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (GSW)

GSW Event -- November 17-23, 2014

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Target Audiences: Who do you need to reach to meet your objectives?

The primary audiences for the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week are:

  • Parents
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Pharmacists

Each state or coalition has different needs and resources. Depending on the resources and needs identified in Step 1, a state may choose to focus its efforts on parents, healthcare providers, pharmacists or a combination of the three. When narrowing target audiences, think about various demographic characteristics (race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, geographic location, languages spoken) as well as other factors that might group people together, such as:

  • Behaviors (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists)
  • Similar benefits or barriers to using antibiotics appropriately (mothers who find it difficult to find time for doctor visits)

Target Behaviors: What do you want them to do?

Once you’ve determined your target audiences, think about what you want them to do in order to meet the objectives you’ve set.

It is not possible through GSW activities to directly decrease antibiotic resistance rates, as this requires long-term intervention at institutional and policy levels. You can, however, promote other actions that will lead to decreased rates. For example, GSW activities encourage parents and caregivers to:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the best treatment for your illness.
  • To feel better when you have an upper respiratory infection and antibiotics are not needed…
    • Increase fluid intake.
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Use a cool mist vaporizer or saline nasal spray to relieve congestion.
    • Soothe throat with ice chips, sore throat spray, or lozenges (do not give lozenges to young children).
  • Properly dispose of leftover and expired antibiotics. For information visit or
  • Clean your hands often (e.g.,before meals and after touching pets).
  • Keep you and your child current with recommended immunizations.

Activities: How can you address the barriers and promote the benefits?

Use the information you’ve gathered to select activities that work together to:

  • Make a clear call to action
  • Address all key factors
  • Minimize barriers
  • Fit your budget and staff resources

It's also important to take stock of factors that may impact your efforts — both positively and negatively, such as:

  • Recent media coverage about antibiotic resistance.
  • Issues related to antibiotic resistance.
  • Other organizations promoting appropriate antibiotic use that you might partner with.
  • Competing messages in the media or community.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Level I: Getting Started

The following activities require minimal amounts of time and resources. Many of the materials you need to get started can be found on the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week web page. For instance, you will find print ads, podcasts, graphic button, logos, PSA templates, etc.

  • Ask partners to place a Graphic Button (logo) on websites to link back to the Get Smart website.
  • Ask partners to link their website to CDC podcasts on antibiotic resistance/appropriate antibiotic use.
  • Ask newspapers and newsletters to publish public service print ads, articles, or editorials.
  • Ask partners for premiere placement of GSW information on websites (top-left corner).
  • Write a news release, opinion-editorial piece, or letter to the editor.
  • Ask employers and businesses to include an antibiotic educational message with their payroll or billing notice (especially for utility company, bank, and credit card statements).
  • Ask religious leaders to include messages about antibiotic resistance, appropriate antibiotic use and disease prevention in their sermons, prayers and bulletin.
  • Ask large companies to pay for placement of radio or newspaper ads about your program.
  • Ask advertisers to include appropriate antibiotic use print ads or reproducible art in their ads in local newspapers.
  • Ask local businesses to print and distribute appropriate antibiotic use materials including “stuffers” in local coupon packets (offer a credit line on the materials acknowledging their donation).
  • Provide appropriate antibiotic use brochures for distribution at health clinics.
  • Ask unions to distribute appropriate antibiotic use materials to their members who are parents or caregivers.
  • Ask merchants to display print ads, and include an appropriate antibiotic use message on store receipts, or make loudspeaker announcements.
  • Prepare scoreboards or loudspeaker announcements for sports events, rodeos, concerts, or bingo games.
  • Ask elementary and secondary school clubs or art classes to design and construct banners or portable exhibits for use at community events.
  • Send letters about your plans to the editors of state medical journals, other professional journals, and local newspapers.
  • Hold a breakfast for employers, religious leaders, or media representatives, and ask them to get involved with your activities.
  • Prepare and distribute newsletter articles for employers, neighborhood associations, utility companies, or other organizations with newsletters.
  • Ask to speak at an organization’s event such as an Interfaith Alliance meeting about the importance of antibiotic resistance.

Level II: Enhancing Your Program

The following activities demand a little more effort from volunteers and staff, and possibly more funding, than activities in Level I. Many of the materials you need to get started can be found on the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week web page. For instance, you will find print ads, podcasts, graphic button, logos, PSA templates, etc.

  • Ask producers of radio call-in shows and television public affairs shows to feature appropriate antibiotic use activities; offer to provide background information on antibiotic resistance, sample questions and answers, and someone (i.e., pediatrician, heath department official, pharmacist, or nurse) to interview.
  • Arrange for a pediatrician or someone who represents your program to appear on a television or radio talk show.
  • Ask retailers, banks, or other merchants to sponsor an appropriate antibiotic use event or seminar and to distribute educational information as a public service to their customers.
  • Ask shopping mall management to sponsor a health fair, make room for an exhibit, or provide space for a “questions and answers about appropriate antibiotic use” table or booth.
  • Hold an appropriate antibiotic use poster contest for students and offer donated prizes. Exhibit poster entries in a mall, community center, library, local bus station, or other public place frequented by your priority population.
  • Acknowledge the coalition’s partners at a special luncheon.
  • Imprint balloons with the appropriate antibiotic use message and logo to mark the spot at special events.
  • Talk with transportation companies about placing print ads with your appropriate antibiotic use message in buses and cabs. Alternatively, cab drivers could pass out cards with the appropriate antibiotic use message to their passengers.
  • Imprint bags for supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Ask a radio station to participate on a day during GSW by broadcasting, hourly, an appropriate antibiotic use message; provide broadcasters with live announcer copy or use one of the professionally produced GSW radio public service announcements (PSAs).
  • Ask a radio station to participate on a day during Get Smart about Antibiotics Week by broadcasting, hourly, an appropriate antibiotic use message; provide broadcasters with live announcer copy or use one of the professionally produced GSW radio PSAs.
  • Work with billboard and transit companies to seek public service space where it is most likely to reach your audience.
  • Develop a speakers’ program and offer presentations to community hospitals, churches, libraries, recreation centers, club meetings, and worksite brown bag lunches; identify speakers (e.g., healthcare providers, people affected by lack of antibiotic resistance, media spokespersons) and provide them with a prepared speech or talking points.
  • Distribute materials to social service agencies.

Level III: Broadening Your Scope

The following activities require more organization, planning, staff, and resources than those in the previous levels. Some of these activities may serve to sustain long-term, high appropriate antibiotic use impact in your state. Many of the materials you need to get started can be found on the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week web page. For instance, you will find print ads, podcasts, graphic button, logos, PSA templates, etc.

  • During the week preceding GSW have your Governor, First Lady, and coalition members kick off the week with a press conference and/or proclamation for GSW.
  • Print information in newsletters. People often read newsletters more attentively and regularly than they read a regional newspaper.
  • Contact local television stations and ask them to run PSAs on appropriate antibiotic use. In many communities, parents and caregivers who stay at home prefer television to other media.
  • Partner with local elementary schools to ask older children to take the appropriate antibiotic use message home to parents and caregivers of children by sponsoring a poster contest. Suggest using the theme for GSW.
  • Invite special guests to an event announcing the poster winners. Use the first-place poster for your next appropriate antibiotic use campaign.
  • Incorporate Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition’s “Antibiotics and You” curriculum (
  • Ask a local college health education, marketing, or communications department or a public relations firm to design and conduct a community survey about GSW. Publicize the results.
  • Send a letter to your Governor requesting that s/he ask county officials, mayors, and city council members for their active involvement in the appropriate antibiotic use issue.

Level IV: Focusing on Healthcare Providers

These activities are geared toward healthcare providers and pharmacists. Some of these activities require modest efforts and others require more planning and organization. Many of the materials you need to get started can be found on the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week web page. For instance, you will find print ads, podcasts, graphic button, logos, PSA templates, etc.

  • Encourage healthcare providers and pharmacists to remind parents/parents of symptomatic relief options for viral infections.
  • Encourage healthcare providers to use Get Smart Symptomatic Prescription Pads.
  • Encourage pharmacists to use Get Smart Adherence Pads.
  • Arrange for county health department personnel and service group representatives to speak on local talk shows.
  • Ask medical and pharmacist groups to include your program information in continuing education programs.
  • Ask healthcare providers and pharmacists to record and play an appropriate antibiotic use message to callers who are put on hold.
  • Develop note pads and buttons with the GSW theme and logo for healthcare providers and pharmacists to help remind them to discuss appropriate antibiotic use with parents and caregivers.
  • Recruit Medicaid managed care organizations and ask them to educate their providers on the importance of communicating with parents and caregivers about appropriate antibiotic use.
  • Ask your managed care organization to cosponsor a press conference demonstrating its support of your appropriate antibiotic use effort and to raise awareness.

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