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Abstract

Social marketing campaigns are effective in promoting health behavior changes in individuals and communities. Mississippi State University Extension Service’s (MSU Extension) Office of Nutrition Education launched a statewide social marketing campaign branded HappyHealthy to target nutrition and healthy lifestyle-related behaviors of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible individuals and families. In this study, a process evaluation was conducted with MSU Extension staff to assess perceptions of the campaign’s relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. In the early stages of the campaign, external evaluators conducted in-depth interviews with MSU Extension staff members (n = 17). After the campaign had been active for several months, the same external evaluators developed a web-based survey instrument for administration with MSU Extension staff (n = 54). Interview and survey responses were interpreted in accordance with Roger’s diffusion of innovation theory. Staff responses indicated it is important that campaign messages and materials align with and enhance staff members’ job responsibilities and that campaign messages are consistent with other education being delivered. Allowing staff to get familiar with some campaign materials before they are responsible for using them may also be advantageous for successful adoption and implementation.

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