Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Social Marketers help "Private Practice" Writers

The information below was posted to a social marketing discussion group that I belong to, by Sandra de Castro Buffington, Director of Hollywood, Health & Society. As a "Private Practice" fan - I just watched the episode mentioned below - I thought this was particularly interesting:

Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, worked with writers of the January 8th episode of ABC's "Private Practice" to provide accurate health information on vaccinations and autism. Last fall, HH&S facilitated several phone conversations between leading immunization experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and writers of "Private Practice." Key health messages on the importance of vaccinations were conveyed to the scriptwriters together with case studies on the topic. The writers incorporated these messages into the dramatic storyline seen in the January 8th episode, "Contamination." According to the Nielsen Television Index, ABC's "Private Practice" reached over 3 million viewers nationwide that night.

In our eighth year of support from the CDC, HH&S is a sustained and systematic program of support to the entertainment industry to encourage accurate and timely public health content in TV storylines. Through services such as free on-demand consultations and briefings with experts, HH&S serves as a one-stop-shop for writers and producers in search of credible information on a wide range of health topics. Funded by the CDC, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The California Endowment and the Health Resources and Services Administration's Division of Transplantation and Poison Control Program, we recognize the profound impact entertainment media have on viewer knowledge, attitudes and behavior.

To learn more about Hollywood, Health & Society visit www.usc.edu/hhs

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