Theoretical Background and research questions/hypothesis: CDC’s the Prevention IS Care (PIC) campaign provides science-based prevention materials to healthcare providers to incorporate into routine care of persons living with HIV. PIC uses online and print advertising, business reply cards (BRC) in medical journals, partners with key medical professional associations and exhibits at conferences to increase exposure and material use among providers. Campaign assets include provider and patient materials, and a comprehensive website that promotes both downloading and ordering materials. This study examines key strategies that have been successful in increasing PIC exposure among providers.
Methods: Process data were collected monthly from PIC launch through August 2014 to monitor campaign progress and potential reach of the campaign. Key metrics included: impressions of online/print media, click through rates for online ads, homepage views, events PIC attended and materials distributed via download or ordered. Data collected were analyzed to examine relationships with key campaign strategies and reach among providers. Correlations coefficients were assessed for a 60 month period between campaign activities and home page views.
Results: From 2007 to August of 2014, PIC garnered 2,898,122 impressions using print and online media and distributed 267,816 campaign materials, primarily via CDC-INFO and direct mail using BRCs. Only 6.6% of the materials distributed were from online downloads. Overall, the PIC homepage has generated 51,630 views and since implementing banner ads, the campaign has increased its annual average homepage views by 364%. Homepage views were very strongly correlated with media impressions (r=0.77, p >.05), online banner impressions (r=0.91, p >.05), and click-throughs from online banner ads (r=0.99, p >.05) and moderately correlated with total material distribution (r=0.45, p >.05). PIC attended 93 conferences/events with a total attendance of 129,281, at which 10,247 materials were distributed. Online orders for materials greatly increased during months when online advertisements on key medical sites were implemented with one website having click-through-rates as high as 1.89%.
Conclusions: Providers prefer receiving patient campaign materials in print form via direct mail versus electronic/downloads. BRCs in key medical journals is a promising tactic in encouraging providers to order materials. The marked increase in PIC homepage views correlates with a large increase in impressions that primarily stemmed from the start of online banner ads in late 2012, as well as increases in paid media impressions. The large volume of homepage views suggests that individuals were motivated to seek additional information about the campaign. Online advertisements on medical sites that link to the campaign homepage may be an effective method to increase campaign exposure. Attending key medical conferences was also shown to be a successful strategy to reaching the target audience with materials.
Implications for research and/or practice: A mix of methods are needed to reach providers effectively. It may be advantageous to provide print materials to providers (versus downloadable materials), particularly for patient materials. Online banner ads proved to be a cost-effective mode of improving campaign reach. Online advertisements on websites of targeted journals may also increase campaign exposure and material procurement. Using conferences as a method to reaching providers is a successful tactic to engage HIV providers.