GYC Launches Campaign for Older Teens

The Playbook: Your Guide to Safer, Sexier Choices is a pilot social marketing campaign to connect sexually active 18-19-year-olds in Gaston County to clinical services. The campaign includes a website, plus social media and other online outreach. 

The Playbook Logo

The Need

In Gaston County:

  • Pregnancies to 18-and 19-year-olds make up 73% of the county’s teen pregnancies
  • 78% of 18-and 19-year-olds have already had sexual intercourse
  • Only 16% of the county’s 18-and 19-year-olds have accessed the county’s free or low-cost family planning services
In addition:
  • 18-and 19-year-olds received health education prior to the passage of the Healthy Youth Act and are unlikely to have received formal effective sex education
  • Gaston County’s 18-and 19-year-olds do not seem to congregate in any single physical location (school/college, workplace, mall, etc.), but most are avid social media users
  • Many current online teen pregnancy prevention resources are for younger teens (StayTeen,SexEtc.Carolina Teen Health) or have a broader young-adult focus (Bedsider)

This data on older teen pregnancies and rates of sexual activity is very similar to North Carolina’s statewide data, where 72% of teen pregnancies are to an 18- or 19-year-old and 64% of 12th graders have had sex.

The Campaign

The ultimate goal of The Playbook is to increase the number of 18-and 19-year-olds using the county’s clinics for pregnancy prevention services.

The Playbook consists of a comprehensive website and several social media outreach efforts onFacebookTwitterTumblr, and Instagram.  On the website, teenagers can find:

  • A detailed overview of birth control methods
  • A health center finder and detailed overview on what birth control methods and services are offered, the doctors and staff, directions, etc.
  • Advice on social situations and healthy relationships
  • Videos (courtesy of Bedsider) that address common myths about birth control and sex
  • Tips on how to talk to parents, partners, mentors, and doctors about birth control and sex
  • An overview of their legal rights as a young adult living in North Carolina
  • The ability to submit a question and have it answered by a health educator

The campaign was developed by GYC staff with the help of Reboot Creative + Strategy. Together, they used traditional market research, local focus groups, and public health data to design an age-appropriate campaign that would resonate with 18-19 year olds. The campaign will include ongoing evaluation, and has the potential to expand to serve the rest of the state.

Questions about The Playbook? Contact Director of Strategic Communications Elizabeth Finley.


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