As April approaches, it is time to start planning your Alcohol Awareness Month project. Conducting an Alcohol Free Gets Me campaign is a great project for your Youth Action Team!
Here’s what you need to know in order to implement the campaign.
Central Message and Goal
This is a youth-focused underage drinking prevention campaign that uses an evidence-based strategy called PhotoVoice. Research has shown that youth who have opportunities to express their thoughts and opinions through photography with captions in their own words can positively influence the attitudes and behaviors of peers and other community members.
The campaign, Alcohol Free Gets Me, asks youth and adults to think of goals, hopes or dreams they have for their future. Being alcohol free will increase the likelihood that these hopes and dreams can be reached. The premise of the campaign is to ask participants to take a photograph of something that represents their goals, hopes or dreams and write a caption along the lines of “Alcohol free gets me… (closer to a college scholarship, a chance to be a veterinarian, etc.)” The caption can read a little differently such as, “Being alcohol free will help me…” or “I want to…and being alcohol free will help me get there.”
Planning and Implementation Steps
- Ask your school administrators for permission to use one or more bulletin boards or walls for the campaign.
- Decorate the bulletin board or wall with the name of the campaign, attractive borders, etc.
- Set up an email account or phone number that can accept texts and photos to receive entries.
- Establish a time frame for submissions.
- Offer incentives for eligible entries.
- Publicize the campaign with posters and announcements that include campaign instructions and requirements.
- Screen all entries to make sure they are eligible and appropriate.
- Photos should be symbolic and not include any photos of people in which they can be recognized.
- All entries must have a caption related to the campaign theme “Alcohol free gets me…”
- Print eligible entries on card stock or glossy paper and post them on the bulletin board or wall. All members of your Youth Action Team should submit entries, so you have some already at the beginning of the campaign. Recruit friends or family members to participate early on as well.
- If you have a social media account, you can also post entries there.
- You could ask some teachers and/or administrators to serve as a selection committee for prizes.
Keep record of the numbers of entries you receive. Also, keep all photos (or simply record the statements) to use in other projects if needed, such as to include on an information table at a community event!
When GUIDE first implemented the project, we received over 70 entries to the photo contest and over 2,000 views on our website, so we know it can be successful.
Keep in Mind
It will take about a month to plan the campaign and one to two weeks to implement. The costs for this campaign are minimal and could include: materials for your bulletin board and incentives.
GREAT incentives will often motivate youth to participate! Poll the students in your school to see what incentive they would be interested in receiving. You can also ask local businesses to donate the incentives.
Start planning your campaign now, and make sure to celebrate your successes along the way!
For more information about the campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.