"We really want to begin a sustained dialogue within this target audience," said Booker Daniels, a CDC health communications specialist and project lead for I know. "We know there are a whole host of issues related to HIV that are not being discussed and we're trying to aggregate an audience in social media to create the initial discussion. Then as we move forward in the subsequent phases of the effort, we're going to introduce specific, targeted messages as the campaign gains its own momentum."
Working with The Corkery Group on media outreach, the CDC is inviting media outlets to attend the event, which will also be live-streamed on Act Against AIDS' Web site. The Dewey Square Group also helped to develop a strategic outreach plan. The American Institutes for Research was the primary contractor on the business, and Danya International provided technical support.
While Act Against AIDS is a $45 million effort, I know has an overall budget of $1 million, and will continue to be funded in subsequent phases. The campaign will introduce a Web site, Twitter account, and Facebook page on March 4, and is producing videos with celebrities, including Jamie Foxx, to promote its message.
"Social media gives us a real-time platform for being able to reach out to this audience…[it's] a really powerful tool," Daniels said. "We had celebrities agree to provide web video testimonials, encouraging the target audience to talk about HIV, really driving out messaging." They will also post videos on their own Web sites and social media pages.
There will also be a text messaging component, Daniels said, "touching on those core mobile platforms that are really frequently used by this target audience."