Mass Media in Health Promotion: A Compilation of Expert Opinion
This paper reports on an open-ended survey of experts in the field of mass media and health promotion. The study was designed to read between the lines of published reports to identify new directions in the use of mass media in health promotion; to identify areas of consensus and controversy in the design and use of such campaigns; and to compare expert opinion with the literature. Survey responses are synthesized and reported in terms of (1) ingredients for successful mass media programs relative to program purpose, structure, and methods; and (2) obstacles to effective use of mass media for health promotion, including information overload and inconsistency, demand characteristics of the target behavior, dissemination, and unsupportive social milieus. Conclusions are presented as guidelines for pursuit of the optimal program and principles to guide further inquiry.