Launching Your VERB Scorecard Campaign
You’ve planned and prepared, designed and pre-tested – now, you’re ready to launch your VERB Scorecard campaign.
If you have designed a communitywide campaign, distribute the VERB Scorecards widely throughout your community: at your partner/vendor locations as well as through schools, after school programs and other youth clubs. You can also distribute the VERB Scorecards at businesses that tweens regularly gather, such as fast food restaurants, movie theaters, etc. Consider putting the VERB Scorecards in upright Plexiglas® containers to be displayed on the countertops of business partners.
If you will implement your campaign through existing groups to which you have regular access, distribution is easy: just pass them out when the tweens are gathered in their group.
If you have a web site, post your VERB Scorecard so that tweens can download it. Get other tween web sites to link to your VERB Scorecard site.
Several VERB Scorecard sites held school-wide assemblies at elementary and middle schools with high school athletes as the hosts to create excitement about the campaign and distribute the VERB Scorecards.
Physical education and health classes in schools are great distribution channels. Including private schools and home-school associations ensures broader participation. Make it easy for the teachers by packing the cards neatly and delivering them in bundles. Giving teachers a small prize or incentive for their help never hurts. Lexington, Kentucky offered a $500 incentive for the school that had the highest percentage of VERB Scorecard participants.
Go where tweens go. Be creative. Think outside the box.
If you designed a long campaign, the promotion will need to be refreshed to sustain it over the time frame. If the campaign design is communitywide, the promotion will need to be community-wide. In larger communities, there may be so many competing messages and so much information noise that it’s hard to break through the clutter to show up on tweens’ radar screens. In these instances, creative and comprehensive promotion is a must. Targeting established groups of tweens may help to narrow the promotion channels that you use.
Campaign spokespersons can increase campaign visibility and add excitement. Ask them to make PSAs or emcee special events. Choose people that tweens in your community look up to and think are cool: celebrities, athletes, radio or television personalities. Dignitaries and elected officials add visibility and help you reach parents and adult influencers, but be cautious using these spokespersons to reach tweens.
Recruit energetic, enthusiastic and healthy high school or college students as buzz agents, Street Teams and volunteers for special events. Buzz agents are campaign ambassadors who promote your campaign through their own e-mail contacts, blogs and circle of friends. Street Teams are an organized group of campaign ambassadors. They drop-in at malls, video arcades, school assemblies, after school clubs, etc. to engage tweens in short and fun physical activity and promote the VERB Scorecard campaign at the same time.
Lexington, Kentucky’s television partner and co-sponsor produced and regularly aired a PSA to announce special events. The PSA featured a previous VERB Scorecard participant. Sarasota, Florida hired a marketing liaison to keep their campaigns in the news.
- Window clings, banners, flyers and/or posters in schools, youth clubs, businesses and VERB Scorecard partners/vendors
- Kick-off assemblies and intercom announcements at middle and elementary schools
- Video clips played in schools, wherever VERB Scorecards are distributed, in group settings where kids are inclined to view a monitor
- Viral marketing – ask tweens to e-mail and IM their friends
- VERB Scorecard websites – links and ads on partners’/vendors’ websites
- Feature VERB Scorecard events in school planners, calendars and marquises
- Planning team partners’ and other organizations’ print and on-line newsletters
- Parent promotion through pay envelopes, utility bills, company picnics, e-mails and employee wellness programs
- Television station co-sponsorships, PSAs, news stories and calendar announcements
- Coverage on local morning, noon and evening television programming (cable channels and major network affiliates)
- Press releases, newspaper articles, calendar announcements, and community page or front page Post-it note ads
- Radio PSAs, remote broadcasts and talk shows
- Billboards and electronic billboards
- Ads played in the theater before the movie starts
Previous VERB Scorecard sites have creatively addressed transportation concerns and barriers. Offer events and activities at the places tweens naturally convene (after school programs, camps, youth groups, neighborhoods) or that are easily accessible. Recruit community centers and faith-based groups to transport tweens to activities and events. Offer events after parents’ work hours. Lexington, Kentucky developed a partnership with their mass transit agency to allow the VERB Scorecard to double as a bus/trolley pass.
Once the campaign starts, it’s important to check-in with your VERB Scorecard partners/vendors to ensure that the campaign is running as planned. Giving your partners/vendors a clearly written, one-page how-to may minimize problems. Campaign monitoring forms and partner surveys on the VERB Scorecard Campaign CD-ROM can be used to systematically check to see where adjustments need to be made.
Previous VERB Scorecard campaign planning teams found a few problems as they monitored campaign implementation:
- Posters taped on a garbage can at a fast food restaurant distribution site
- Classes listed on VERB Scorecard cancelled without notification
- VERB Scorecard countertop display and poster kept under the counter
They also found good things such as:
- Business owners explaining the campaign to tweens
- Tweens finding new VERBs by using their VERB Scorecards
- Parents committed to helping their children complete the VERB Scorecard
- Page last reviewed: August 1, 2007 Historical Document
- Page last updated: August 1, 2007
- Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health