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Noisy Planet® Communications Campaign

Client

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders/National Institutes of Health (NIDCD/NIH)

Challenge

One in eight people in the United States (13%, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears. To raise awareness of the importance of preventing noise-induced hearing loss, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders initiated the It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing® (Noisy Planet) campaign, which targets preteens, parents, and other adults engaged in helping children adopt healthy hearing practices. Recommended practices for preserving hearing are summarized in the campaign's key message—Turn it Down, Walk Away, or Use Hearing Protection. Noisy Planet maintains a website and a Facebook page to disseminate information. The campaign also distributed copies of more than 20 publications and uses exhibits, sound-level-meter demonstrations, and interactive presentations to educate preteens and their parents on how sound can damage hearing and how noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented.

NIDCD wanted to know who was using Noisy Planet resources, whether the campaign was reaching its intended audiences, and whether it was achieving its objectives. This information was crucial in making decisions on improving Noisy Planet efforts. The NIDCD contracted with NOVA Research to conduct its evaluation of the Noisy Planet campaign.

NOVA Approach

The evaluation focused on four activities:

  • Customer satisfaction survey of people who ordered materials from the campaign
  • Survey to collect feedback from parents about in-school presentations to their children
  • Interviews with Noisy Planet's partner organizations
  • Analysis of Noisy Planet website and social media usage.

In addition, the evaluation included information gathered from focus groups and usability tests for the Noisy Planet website.

Results

  • Data from the two surveys, web traffic analysis data, and numbers of people involved in NIDCD outreach efforts pointed to the conclusion that Noisy Planet is effective in reaching target audiences. Large numbers of parents and other adults had been reached, and most shared information they found with preteens. A majority (more than 80%) of those who ordered materials said they had used them, and 57 percent had used them specifically to encourage healthy hearing practices in preteens.
  • Most respondents to the order placer survey were affiliated with educational organizations (including home schoolers). Survey data suggested that NIDCD was reaching a somewhat narrow segment of their target audiences. Efforts were needed to broaden campaign reach to other target audience segments.
  • Available data on the potential reach of Noisy Planet outreach activities indicated that more than 6 million U.S. citizens may have been reached with Noisy Planet messages through a mix of broadcast media, social media, conferences, materials dissemination, and similar mechanisms.
  • A summary of the Noisy Planet Evaluation can be found at: https://www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/about/noisy-planet-campaign-evaluation.