Congratulations to recent IHC graduate Jessica Fitts Willoughby on her recent publication in Social Marketing Quarterly! To read Jessica’s article, “Everyone Has Questions: Developing a Social Marketing Campaign Promoting a Sexual Health Text Message Service.” Published online before print, September 30, 2013, doi:10.1177/1524500413505570.
Text message services that provide sexual health information are increasingly popular, but often they are not promoted. This article describes the development of a social marketing campaign promoting a state-based sexual health text message service that allows teens to text a sexual health question directly to a trained health educator. Preproduction and production research using in-depth interviews and focus groups (n = 35) conducted in the southeastern United States provided information on perceived benefits and barriers and teens’ perceptions. Teens were interested in the service and wanted to see relevant settings and relatable teens in advertisements. Teens said that the promotional messages needed to include clear instructions on how to use such a service, as teens were only somewhat familiar with the process of using such a system. Implications for promotion of similar services are discussed.