In September 2005, the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference retained MP&F to conduct a statewide anti-methamphetamine campaign. There were multiple objectives: to educate and inform the public, particularly school-age youth, about the dangers of meth use and production; to drive traffic to www.MethFreeTN.org; to raise the profile of the district attorneys’ efforts to combat meth use and production; and to leverage the value of the grant through partnership opportunities to increase the reach of the District Attorneys Conference messages.
In November 2005, we unveiled the Meth Destroys campaign – featuring posters, brochures, a Web site, a DVD and print, radio and TV public service announcements – in the 31 judicial districts that comprise all Tennessee counties. Before developing the logo or campaign materials, focus groups were conducted with middle and high school students, as well as adults, throughout the state. The focus groups indicated that scare tactics work – if they are credible – and that drove development of harsh campaign materials with unpleasant images of meth’s side effects.
In an approximately one-month timeframe before the campaign kickoff in November 2005, MP&F wrote, designed and printed 554,000 brochures for middle and high school students, 20,000 posters, 22,000 bumper decals, 25,000 Anti-meth Task Force window clings and 10,000 pledge cards. MP&F created 32 different versions of the youth brochure – one for each district attorney including his/her name and contact information, as well as a general version. An existing DVD was revised to include information on new legislation, and messages from Gov. Phil Bredesen and the district attorneys. We also coordinated with the Tennessee Department of Education to create a Teacher’s Guide that includes more than 60 meth-related activities for the classroom. MP&F also developed an adult education booklet and another poster.
Materials were distributed to more than 800 public middle and high schools, every county’s health department and farm bureau office, and hospitals throughout the state. MP&F has coordinated with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Tennessee to post district-specific billboards. MP&F also produced radio and television public service announcements featuring Tennesseans who are recovering meth addicts or their family members.
The campaign has succeeded in all respects, from effective message development to increased Web site traffic to consistent local and statewide media coverage, and drew national attention after being featured in PR Week, a prominent professional trade publication. In 2007, the campaign received the Silver Anvil Award, the Public Relations Society of America’s top national honor.