The Influence Project, part of the federal office's "Above the Influence" brand campaign, aims to deliver drug prevention messages that are specific to a community's demographic, because teen drug use can vary region to region.
“Drug issues are a local issue,” said Gem Benoza, deputy director of public education and outreach for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media campaign.
The Influence Project has a “synergy with the national brand,” she said, but the emphasis now is on reaching teens in their communities and encouraging them to engage with the brand.
It is asking teens, aged 12 to 17 years old, to talk about the top three influences in their lives, either positive or negative. They can choose to share the information online, through writing, video, and photo submissions on the campaign's website, which includes a "heat map" to measure the number of teens in each city who engage on the site.
Teens are also being directed to the campaign's YouTube and Facebook pages.
The project is being piloted in the Bronx, NY, Portland, OR, and Milwaukee, WI, before being rolled out to 20 additional markets this year. Benoza noted that the ONDCP is focusing on tailoring local messages in the individual markets, as well as encouraging teens to participate in the project.Fleishman-Hillard, which began working with the ONDCP in 1998, is providing media relations and support for community and corporate partnerships and entertainment industry outreach.
The firm recently re-bid the government contract, with the new contract beginning June 1, said Ann Saybolt, SVP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard. The firm's annual budget is $2 million.
In 2005, ONDCP launched Above the Influence to replace the "What's your antidrug?" effort.