In order to achieve any objective, your target audience needs to have an understanding of the health concern (knowledge) and want to change their behavior to get the desired effect (attitude).
When our target audience is college students, we can use many tools in our health communication toolbox to aid us in reaching an objective. No single tool can accomplish an objective, and we need a multifaceted approach to achieve behavior change. Some of the tools you already use to spread health messages might include social norming messages, collaboration with other departments, fliers, posters, workshops, events, campaigns, awareness weeks, movies, and/or outside speakers.
Consider adding this tool to your toolbox: video. You can create your own videos at your health center, use videos created by other health organizations, or do both!
College students want quick and easy access to information. The faster the information can be found and the easier it is to understand, the better. Pictures, charts, graphs, infographics, and videos can portray information in a quick, easy-to-comprehend format.
As we all know, and the data supports, college students are massive users of the internet. They make up a very large portion of social media users and, in particular, use video-sharing sites such as YouTube. According to the Pew Research Center Report on Video-Sharing, 92 percent of 18-29 year olds have used video sharing sites, and 47 percent have used those sites “yesterday.” With many of our students spending their time online using video sites, we have an opportunity to reach them with our health messages through video.
How can college health centers nationwide use video to their advantage? Repackage traditional ways of presenting health information to students, add some out-of-the-box thinking, follow best practices, and create a video. Although creating a video takes knowledge, time, effort, and resources, a video’s ability to reach a large number of students is just one “share” away.
- Flu – Coming To A Campus Near You by The University of New Hampshire Health Services
- UCF Singing Flu Shot Campaign and Debunking Myths About The Flu Shot by The University of Central Florida Health Services
- Wilbur and Wilma Get Their Flu Shots at Campus Health by The University of Arizona Campus Health Service
- CDC Flu Prevention Videos
- WebMD Flu & Cold Prevention Video
Video gives us the ability to repackage and reframe health messages into a format which better resonates with college students. Add this powerful tool to your health communication toolbox – and stay tuned for a future blog post with details of how various campuses have implemented videos.