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Designing Your VERB Scorecard Campaign Model

This guidebook organizes your planning efforts and shares the experiences of previous VERB Scorecard campaign sites. Successfully tailoring the campaign model requires reliable data on which to base decisions. Your planning team should have enough information to reasonably assess and understand your community, even if the most precise or rigorous statistical data is not available to you. The design of your campaign is impacted by your target audience segments, partner/vendor participation, your planning team and other community needs and resources.

Use tips on the following topics to help you design your campaign model.

Target Audience

How will you segment the tween audience?

Segmenting your tween audience focuses the design of your campaign model, keeps your planning team on strategy and enables your campaign to have the most direct and measurable impact. Segmentation doesn’t exclude participation, rather it keeps the needs and motivations of your target segments firmly in mind as you design your campaign.

Your campaign model may segment the tween audience by current physical activity level: Superstars, Moderately Active, Passive and High Risk for Inactivity. Previous campaign sites have strategically focused on Moderately Active and Passive audience segments, as these tweens are most likely to make measurable changes. Tweens in the Superstar segment are already very active, and those in the High Risk for Inactivity group often have many barriers making it hard for a short-term campaign to reach them.

Segmenting the tween audience by their current involvement in structured after school or recreation programs influences campaign elements like the timing of discounts and special events (during the day or in the evening).

Some previous VERB Scorecard sites promoted their campaign to all tweens community-wide. This is appropriate if you have sufficient staff and resources to comprehensively promote the campaign, and sufficient community partners/vendors providing broad-based VERB Scorecard opportunities. This model may help your planning team reach more tweens while also increasing community awareness about the importance of regular youth physical activity.

Other sites narrowed the audience to tweens with which they had regular access: after school program participants, members of existing groups or clubs, etc. Wolfe County, Kentucky targeted several elementary schools, and 90% of the students turned in completed VERB Scorecards. This design may be appropriate if you have a limited number of community partners/vendors participating. Creative, persistent promotion is still needed to reach tweens, but using fewer channels can be much cheaper. The downside is that the rest of the community may never hear about the campaign.

Behavioral Goal

How many squares will tweens have to complete on the VERB Scorecard?

Tweens track their time spent being physically active on the VERB Scorecards. The number of marked squares that complete the VERB Scorecard depends on the length of the campaign, the current activity level of the target audience segments and the available opportunities in your area.

Children should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week, preferably every day. Less active tweens may need to progressively build up to that level. Ask your target audience through your campaign pre-testing what would be a challenging amount of time.

Twenty-four squares, with each square representing 60 minutes of activity, have worked well for a number of sites targeting Moderately Active and Passive audience segments with two month campaigns. Clay County, Kentucky used 30 minute intervals in their campaign design to reach a sedentary audience segment.

Time Frame

When will your campaign begin and end?

VERB Summer Scorecards, VERB Fall Break Scorecards, VERB Holiday Scorecards and VERB Scorecards that coincide with the school year have all been implemented by previous campaign sites.

Though tweens tend to have more free-time in the summer, the inability to promote the campaign through schools creates challenges.

Longer campaigns require more work, though they give tweens the opportunities to accumulate more physical activity hours. Be cautious that on-going can quickly become routine and boring to this age group. Shorter time frames may work better when funds are tight and staff time is limited.

Physical Activity Opportunities

The variety and quantity of physical activity opportunities, great deals and special events depends largely on the availability of businesses, classes, programs and clubs in your community. Ask tweens what activities they want included in the campaign. Stay true to VERB’s spirit of discovery and exploration by providing tweens with many opportunities to try new things.

Some previous VERB Scorecard communities created opportunities for tweens to get their VERB Scorecards stamped with energizing special events.

Participation Requirements

Will you require tweens to enroll in your campaign?

Most sites have allowed tweens to download VERB Scorecards from the Internet, or pick them up at schools, after school programs or at participating partner/vendor sites without enrolling. While not requiring enrollment enables wide distribution, the lack of a tracking mechanism can make it difficult to reach VERB Scorecard holders during the campaign for evaluation purposes.

Winchester, Kentucky required parents to enroll their children in the campaign and sign a permission form. Campaign enrollment was held at soccer, baseball and the library reading program registrations. Though the number of cards that were distributed was low relative to the number of tweens in the population, this design assured that parents knew about the program and possibly elicited more parental support.

Collecting contact information (like name, age, email, zip code) on completed and redeemed VERB Scorecards not only offers your evaluation team valuable post-campaign data, it’s necessary if you will distribute prizes via U.S. mail. Parent’s permission may be needed to collect or analyze personal information.

Will you require that activities be done only at official VERB Scorecard sites, or will you allow physical activity at home?

The audience segments that your campaign targets and the number of available vendors impacts the design of this campaign element. If at-home physical activities are allowed, your campaign design needs to include information to parents and promotions for tweens with ideas for creating active home lives.

In Lexington, Kentucky’s first campaign, tweens were required to get at least half of the squares stamped at official VERB Scorecard vendors and partner events, while the other half could be initialed by parents for physical activities performed at home. Adjusting their model to respond to transportation barriers and concerns from over-scheduled families, the second year’s campaign design allowed all squares to be initialed by parents for at-home activities. Overall tween participation rates more than doubled the second year, although VERB Scorecard use at business partners and attendance at special events decreased. Suspected cheating may have also increased in the second year. It is not known if the enhanced promotion or the design change increased tween participation.

Tracking Physical Activity

How will you track that the physical activity was performed?

VERB Scorecard partners/vendors and parents initial the VERB Scorecard to verify physical activity was performed for the specified number of minutes. Consider asking your partners/vendors to use a unique identifier, a special hole-punch or sticker to monitor VERB Scorecard use at each partner/vendor location.

Web sites, toll-free telephone number or text messaging systems could also be used to track physical activity.

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