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Volume 8 – Winter 2015

Adapting and piloting the Know Your Power ® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign materials for a diverse campus population.

Sharyn J. Potter, PhD, MPH,1 Jane G. Stapleton, MA,1 Kari Mansager, MA,2 Charles Nies, PhD.2
Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing. 2015;8:71-93.

Author Affiliations

1 Prevention Innovations, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH., USA.
2 University of California, Merced, Merced, CA., USA.


Background: Researchers have been documenting the magnitude of the problem of sexual and relationship violence in college and university campus communities for almost twenty-five years. Yet, most prevention strategies focus on the experiences of white females without considering the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of student populations.

Methods: This paper describes the adaptation of the previously evaluated Know Your Power ® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign to a more ethnically/racially diverse campus community. The materials were adapted via formative research and message pretesting, and pilot tested during a six-week interval at the beginning of the fall semester using pretest/posttest surveys to assess campaign exposure, image appeal, message identification, and reductions in rape myth acceptance.

Results: We found that image appeal and self-identification did not differ by race/ethnicity among those exposed, but did by sex; significantly fewer males than females identified with the images/messages or felt the graphics captured their attention. Beliefs in commonly accepted rape myths decreased among survey participants exposed to the pilot campaign images, and more so among respondents who reported identifying with the individuals portrayed in the images than among those who did not.

Conclusion: Prevention strategies need to be realistic and believable to resonate with target audiences. Carefully adapted images that portrayed social contexts familiar to target audience members, in conjunction with a multimedia campaign implementation that included various print media (eg, posters, wall hangings, bookmarks, table tents), digital images, and promotional products, particularly images and messages that students could identify with, may help to reduce acceptance of rape myths. (Full-text PDF)


  • • Social marketing
  • • Health campaigns
  • • Prevention
  • • Sexual violence
  • • Rape
  • • Race
  • • Universities

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Copyright © 2015 by the Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing journal.

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