STATE OF TENNESSEE - DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

2020

SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER

Shelley Walker and Ted Williams are being recognized for their efforts to bring awareness to the Opioid Crisis in Tennessee.  As the Director of COMMUNICATIONS at DOH, Shelley and her team developed a campaign (Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis) using technology to showcase the human element of the Opioid disorder and its effect on the Tennessee landscape.

 

To help with Tennessee’s opioid addiction crisis, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) created the Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis public education and awareness campaign, funded through the CDC Opioid Crisis Cooperative Agreement. The primary goal of the Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis campaign is to increase awareness and reduce stigma about the opioid abuse epidemic and communicate how it negatively affects all types of people in every county in Tennessee.  TDH achieves the campaign goal by sharing real stories of people impacted by opioid addiction in some way — not just those with substance abuse disorders, but caregivers, family members, health professionals, and first responders.

 

ORAU, a contracted evaluation team, analyzed available campaign data and conducted eight telephone interviews with key informants who were involved with the campaign (e.g., community leaders, professionals, or ambassadors) to provide evidence for the campaign key performance measures.

 

TDH kicked off the Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis campaign on July 16, 2019 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Twenty-one ambassadors (individuals who shared their stories as ‘faces of the opioid crisis’) were at the launch event. Approximately, 100 people total attended the launch event. The campaign kick-off event generated 16 earned media news stories.

 

The TDH Office of Communication and Media Relations collaborated with community-based organizations to identify people from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties to serve as messaging ambassadors. TDH interviewed the selected individuals and featured their stories of how they were personally affected by the opioid abuse crisis. 

To increase reach of these stories, TDH created a TNFacesofOpioids.com public website to feature stories shared by Tennesseans across the state and resources available to assist people impacted by substance abuse and misuse.  From July 5 – November 12, 2019, TDH had 16,743 unique visitors to TNFacesofOpioids.com. Total impressions for the TDH #TNFaces Facebook story posts and Tweets was 176,953 and 153,322 respectively from July 16 – December 16, 2019.

 

The Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis campaign also included four public service announcements (PSAs) which aired through cable providers and digital placements from July 17, 2019 – September 30, 2019. A total of 7,991 commercials were ordered from Comcast and 11,309 aired. The total number of live TV impressions were 34,147,289. In addition, the total number of streaming TV impressions within premium online content were 1,832,665.

SHELLEY WALKER

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA RELATIONS,

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

ELIZABETH HART

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA RELATIONS,

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

BILL CHRISTIAN

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA RELATIONS,

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

TED WILLIAMS

WEB MASTER,

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

TDH bought ad placements with WKRN, an ABC affiliate in Nashville for the Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis and National Take Back Day campaigns. The flight dates for the advertisements were from October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019. The total impressions for the WKRN placement in the designated market areas within Nashville was 1,393,000.

The interview cohort for this evaluation included eight participants – four internal to the Tennessee Department of Health, and four interviewees with external campaign roles ranging from partners to participants.  The key informant feedback clearly portrays the Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis campaign as a success in its primary aims– stigma reduction, increased awareness and connectivity, and the empowerment of others to share their story and believe that recovery is possible.  Its ambassador recruitment methods were considered effective and considerate, and the products produced by the campaign were relevant, shareable, and identifiable to those suffering from the opioid epidemic.

 

While the campaign was viewed as a success in many ways, interviewees clearly expressed that it was executed within an environment that desperately needs treatment professionals and resources. As such, groups considering a Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis -style campaign must include stakeholders and leadership in the planning to ensure the funds spent on an awareness campaign are important enough to counterbalance the use of those funds on other priorities.

 

The Tennessee Faces of the Opioid Crisis campaign met TDH’s campaign key performance measures. Future campaigns should incorporate development of communication and evaluation plans early in the planning process. 
 

Overall achievements were seen in awareness of the Opioid disorder which touches all Tennessians.  Secondly, overall faces of Tennessee websites brought the common man element to the forefront of the disorder that this is a systemic issue which has no boundaries.

 

Any race, color, religion and or creed can be affected by Opioid addiction and it is the community, stakeholders and key Health teams who are stepping up on their own time to affect great outcomes.

For Questions /  Contact us at info@servicetothecitizen.org

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon