As I mentioned in my previous post, I used Conduit Mobile to create an app that employs PR techniques to tackle the issue of teen smoking. What follows is part of my pitch for an assignment to design a viral video or a mobile app to serve as a central tactic for a social media campaign, all part of the New Media module at Westminster.
Research shows that smoking in the UK is on the decline. However, in the wake of a very graphic anti-smoking campaign run by the NHS, I thought that there is a need for a more targeted campaign to address the problem of teen smoking. The specifics of a teenage audience require a different approach than the one utilised by NHS. And so I thought “Why not replace vividness with the concept of togetherness and social inclusion in order to develop a campaign centered on the use of a crowdsourced mobile app.”
Due to the rebellious character of teens and their denouncement of authority, as well as their technology usage habits, we could give teens the tools to make sure that they organise themselves around the idea of not smoking, much like they would around the idea of smoking.
The hook is to first get them interested in the app by visualising famous sportsmen, actors, singers, showmen and even politicians in their struggle with smoking, what their opinion on smoking is, how they cope and how they eventually quit.
And here is where PR comes in, in the form of good old celebrity endorsement:
I thought it’s important to make this page very content rich, since the whole app relied on its appeal, so I added various categories that are likely to be of interest to teenagers, like football or celebrities, but also Team GB to draw on some national pride and insert some key messages:
Finally, I also added a moment of discovery with a category marked by a big red question mark. Inside, a user could learn about people’s struggle with smoking they’d least expect to read about – like President Obama.
Of course this is all designed to get teens interested in the app, but after it’s served its initial purpose, it would actually serve as added motivation, because if you’re a 16 year old girl madly in love with Andy Murray, there’s no better motivation than him telling you to quit from the screen of your iPhone 5. Right?
There is better. What if your mate Sarah told you that? You know, Sarah that lives just 2 blocks away. Again, we reach for PR’s Holy Grail – third party endorsement – but this time, handed to us by the teens’ own peers:
This is where we introduce crowdsourcing and take advantage of teens tech usage habits. We encourage them to share their thoughts on smoking and coping with quitting, and organise their testimonies into regions. This is done through a form in the next tab:
As time goes by, content increases exponentially, users fuel each other’s motivation and your only concern is creating content for the previous tab. In essence, you’ve created a contained social network, aimed at a very specific target audience, supported by tailored content and simple functionality, all based on classic third party endorsement, and wrapped in mobile easy of access.
And that is how PR meets Mobile.