Pinellas County launches integrated health campaign

ST. PETERSBURG, FL: The Pinellas County Health Department in Florida kicked off its first wide-scale wellness initiative on Tuesday to promote healthy habits to its residents.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL: The Pinellas County Health Department in Florida kicked off its first wide-scale wellness initiative on Tuesday to promote healthy habits to its residents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding the “Find the Fun Now” campaign as part of its Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. SalterMitchell created the effort.

“Our goal with the campaign is to get more people out moving and eating healthier,” said Rich Curtin, program manager at the Pinellas County Health Department and program manager for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. The county has a population of nearly 1 million, he added.

The county selected SalterMitchell to run the year-long campaign following an RFP process involving seven agencies, Curtin said. The agency, with a team of 15 employees working on the initiative, is leading all PR and marketing efforts for Find the Fun Now.

With a budget of $700,000, SalterMitchell has created a range of interactive components for the campaign, such as a Find the Fun Now website and app. The app, which will be available for mobile devices in December, will allow consumers to find physical activities, parks, and other outdoor activities around their communities.  

“Our idea was that it's not that people don't want to be more physically active, it's that it takes a lot more planning and thought than snapping on the TV - and TV is very well-marketed,” said Peter Mitchell, chief creative officer at SalterMitchell. “With physical activity, we have to be able to perform as well in the areas of marketing and guidance and make it easy to do, and that's what Find the Fun Now is about.”

SalterMitchell also developed a Facebook and Twitter account for the campaign. The agency is primarily using the social media tools to gauge success.

“Social media, in this case, is a way to increase our exposure and a way to measure whether people are truly engaged. If they're bragging about the activity, they're probably out doing the activity,” Mitchell added.

The agency will launch a Find the Fun Now Dance Off promotion in November, where children, teenagers, and adults can post videos online of them competing in different categories for prizes.

In the spring, Salter Mitchell will run a campaign activity where “flash mobs show up in prominent locations around town and try to persuade people to do dance moves or jumping jacks,” Mitchell said.

The firm will also help the health department with the “Being Fit Matters” portion of the effort, which tests students on their physical fitness levels and then sends a report to parents with healthy living tips.  

The health department will also replace unhealthy vending machine snacks in schools with healthier options.

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