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Using SMS Text Messages to Reach Youth with Sexual Health Information
 

Using SMS Text Messages to Reach Youth with Sexual Health Information

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Andrew Woodruff, Program Director, ISIS, presented on ISIS’ experience using text messaging to reach youth with sexual health information through SexInfo and Hookup.

Andrew Woodruff, Program Director, ISIS, presented on ISIS’ experience using text messaging to reach youth with sexual health information through SexInfo and Hookup.

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    Using SMS Text Messages to Reach Youth with Sexual Health Information Using SMS Text Messages to Reach Youth with Sexual Health Information Presentation Transcript

    • Using SMS Text Messages to Reach Youth with Sexual Health Information Andrew Woodruff, MPH Program Director, ISIS National HIV Prevention Conference August 25, 2009 Atlanta, GA
      • 501(c)3 organization founded in 2001
      • Mission: To use technology and new media for sexual health promotion, disease prevention and development of healthy relationships
      • We partner with communities , corporations and public health agencies to provide digital marketing and intervention services, including: Social Networking Apps, Websites, Mobile Platforms, Text Messaging, Online Contests, and more.
      • Annual Sex::Tech Conference focusing on youth.
    • Today’s Talk
      • What is SMS?
      • SexINFO
      • HookUP 365/24-7
    • SMS Text Messaging
      • SMS = Short Message Service
      • Most used application on mobile phones, greater usage than voice
      • Usage of a short code (5- or 6-digit phone number) to provide mass delivery, adhere to best mobile marketing practices
      • Opt-in model
      • Limited to 160 characters or less (2-3 sentences) in the U.S.
    • SexINFO: A Public Health Response
      • Rising chlamydia/gonorrhea rates among low-income African-American youth in the South East San Francisco
      • Partnership with SF DPH, Community Advisory Board (clergy, CBOs, probation, etc.), and youth
      • Before launch youth focus groups agreed that text messages are a private , accessible and culturally appropriate way to receive health information
    • The Service
      • Text Keyword SexINFO to a shortcode
      • Get back menu of commonly asked questions
      • Text another Keyword for answer
      • Receive nugget of information and 2 referrals
    • Marketing
      • Bus shelter ads and posters in target neighborhoods
      • Palm cards handed out in schools
      • Banner ads on Yahoo!
      • Press release picked up by local TV, radio and newspaper, and USA Today
    • Usage Statistics
      • April-Oct ’06, 4500 inquires, 55% led to referrals
      • Nov-April ‘07, 2344 inquires, 19% led to referrals
      • Top 3 Inquiries
      • 1. What 2 do if condom broke
      • 2. 2 find out about STDs
      • 3. What 2 do if u think ur pregnant
    • Usability Testing
      • Checked service on the street with local youth
      • Found they were not getting past the 4th question of the original 11
      • Only 1/5 were getting from the questions to the answers
      • We made slight changes to the service based on this market knowledge, then launched a second marketing phase
    • Second Round of Marketing
      • Video PSA on YouTube, MTV, BET, local cable access station
      • Radio PSAs on KMEL (hip-hop and R&B)
      • Mobile website m.sextext.org
      • Awards: Webby, Full Circle Fund Technology award, and Grassroots Techie
      • 204 inquiries in first 3 weeks, 97.5% led to referrals
    • Preliminary Eval: Awareness AJPH, March 2008
      • 322 surveys collected at 3 SF clinics
      • 11% of clinic patients knew of SexINFO
      • 80% would sign up in the future
      • Patients from target audience MOST likely to know about service:
      • African-American, aged 12-18
      • Lived in target neighborhoods
      • Had least expensive cell phone provider
    • Partnerships: California Family Health Council and Title X Clinics, CA STD Control Branch, CA Dept. of Public Health
      • Partnered with ADIQ, California Family Health Council and CA Dept of Public Health
      • Txt Hookup to 365247
      • Youth generated weekly
      • sex info & life advice
      • Zip code Title X clinic and SBHC search
    • Temporary tattoos, removable stickers, email blasts, NYTimes mention
    • Usage Statistics
      • Launched April 15, 2009
      • From April to July: 1074 unduplicated subscriptions to the hookup, with 109 unduplicated opt-outs.
      • 386 clinic requests (290 unduplicated) were received, translating to 27% of subscribers requesting clinic referrals, mostly in dense urban locations
      • Evaluation in progress: Via clinic sample and SMS
    • Lessons Learned
      • Text messages are good for increasing access to services, appointment reminders and basic education. In-person services are best for complex, customized sexual health issues.
      • Marketing and "stickiness" are iterative processes.
      • Engage with your audience often. Tech trends change very fast.
    • Thank you! ISIS-INC.org 409 13 th St. 14 th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 835-9400 [email_address]