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Public relations and campaigns about road safety and drug use: efficacy assessment of campaigns in audiovisual media

Relações públicas e campanhas sobre segurança rodoviária e consumo de drogas: avaliação da eficácia em meios audiovisuais
María Pilar Paricio Esteban, María Puchalt López e Sandra Femenia Almerich
Tradução de María Pilar Paricio Esteban, María Puchalt López e Sandra Femenia Almerich
p. 127-150
Este artigo é uma tradução do:
Relações públicas e campanhas sobre segurança rodoviária e consumo de drogas: avaliação da eficácia em meios audiovisuais [pt]

Resumos

Esta investigação mede a eficácia das relações com os média em campanhas sobre segurança rodoviária e drogas. Espanha consta entre os países europeus com maior sinistralidade rodoviária por consumo de drogas (Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses, 2017) e, em consequência, diversas organizações realizam campanhas de prevenção. Xifra (2011) vincula este tipo de campanhas sociais às relações públicas, já que as relações com os média (Wilcox, Cameron & Xifra, 2012) são fundamentais para o seu efeito, na medida em que amplificam as mensagens (Castillo, 2009) e influenciam a agenda pública (McCombs & Shaw, 1972). Os estudos anteriores sobre este assunto não se debruçaram sobre as campanhas de televisão e de rádio que abordam a toxicodependência e a segurança rodoviária, justificando-se, assim, este trabalho. Para realizar esta investigação utilizou-se uma metodologia de carácter qualitativo e quantitativo que combinou as entrevistas semiestruturadas com líderes de organizações responsáveis pela criação de campanhas de segurança rodoviária (Direção Geral de Tráfego, Fundação de Ajuda contra a Dependência de Drogas e Fundação Mapfre) com o método de medição da exposição à mensagem (Castillo & Álvarez, 2015), o qual inclui a análise da cobertura, do impacto económico e do conteúdo de 10 campanhas veiculadas entre 2011 e 2015. Os resultados mostraram que as campanhas tiveram como objetivos o conhecimento, a consciencialização e a educação, mediante a aposta em estratégias combinadas. Para tal, utilizaram meios de comunicação de massa, em particular a televisão. A educação, a dissuasão e a saúde predominaram nos enquadramentos das campanhas, que privilegiaram a cannabis e o álcool como substâncias perigosas. No que respeita à cobertura mediática destes anúncios, registaram-se 375 informações difundidas em quatro meses. Da análise do seu conteúdo, pode destacar-se o predomínio de mensagens informativas (93%), a sua veiculação em noticiários (56,2% na televisão e 50,6% na rádio) e a atualidade em matéria de acontecimentos. A substância mais tratada é o álcool (90%). Apesar das entrevistas evidenciarem a utilização de meios de massa, em particular a televisão, a baixa cobertura e a escassa continuidade não faz com que o tema esteja presente na agenda mediática ou pública. Além disso, o enquadramento e a tematização que se geraram não foram ao encontro dos objetivos desejados pelas organizações que criaram as campanhas.

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Notas da redacção

DOI: 10.17231/comsoc.0(2020).2744
Submitted: 02/07/2019 - Accepted: 31/10/2019

Texto integral

Introduction

1The present investigation focuses on the study of road prevention campaigns – in particular those that relate the consumption of addictive substances with road accidents – developed by the main public and private entities dedicated to road safety in Spain. More specifically, an attempt was made to evaluate the effectiveness of the public relations actions of these organizations, aimed at promoting the dissemination of the campaigns in mass media.

2This work arises motivated by data that link the accident rate to the consumption of alcohol and drugs, which is responsible for almost one in two fatalities in traffic accidents (Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses [INTCF], 2017). In addition, Spain ranks first in Europe in drug use (Observatorio Europeo de las Drogas y las Toxicomanías, 2019) and, consequently, also takes first place in road accidents caused by addictive substances. Individuals between 18 and 29 are those with the highest levels of consumption, in particular alcohol and cannabis (Dirección General de Tráfico, 2016; Fundación Mapfre & FAD, 2018).

3Nevertheless, and despite drug addiction being a major problem, Spanish society does not place this issue among the most worrying issues1. In view of this situation, several institutions have developed prevention programs where communication has proved to be an essential management area, favouring the means, dissemination and credibility of messages.

4Television and radio are essential for the diffusion of social campaigns, as they are among the most consumed media by the target audience, in addition to reaching a wide range of the population and stimulating perception, memory and recollection (Bryant & Zillmann, 1996).

Theoretical framework

5Public relations is a fundamental factor in the management of organizations’ communication, favouring dialogue and the creation of trusting relationships with the public.

6In this regard, Xifra (2011) refers to social campaigns developed by public institutions as typical of public relations due to their strategic approach, which is based on the creation of media coverage and also on the use of advertising media. In fact, one of the functions of public relations is the management of effective relations with the media (Castillo, 2010; Wilcox, Cameron & Xifra, 2012).

7Thus, relations with the media are inherent to the work of the public relations departments, so that they can consolidate themselves as sources of information.

Mass media and effects theories

8The evolution of the mass media, which began with the press, brought access to information and knowledge for the entire population. There followed the appearance of cinema (1892), radio (1900), television (1930) and the Internet (2000).

9Today, despite the fact that society is immersed in a context of “infoxication”, resulting from technological advances, television still occupies an essential place in people’s lives and, therefore, in the dissemination of information to wider audiences. Its high penetration rate (Conecta, 2018), as well as the credibility it has when compared to less conventional means, makes it a good support for the transmission of messages (Edelman, 2018). In addition to this, the radio also plays a role in supporting the internalization of messages, because it facilitates their memorization and remembrance (Martín, 2000).

10Ros (2008) classifies the means that an institution has in: own, earned and paid. In this work, the interest in media coverage is particularly interesting, as a result of public relations management.

11The mass media represent a very important audience in social campaigns due to their ability to amplify messages and influence the formation of opinions. Reviewing the scientific literature on the subject, Lang and Lang (1962) stated that the mass media build realities and have the function of transmitting information. The agenda-setting theory is based, precisely, on the influence that the media have on the public agenda (McCombs & Shaw, 1972), describing them as those responsible for directing citizens’ attention to some themes (Agostini, 1984), therefore interfering in the institutional agenda. Thus described, the media agenda intervenes in the thematization of reality, insofar as the themes treated in the mass media become part of the collective imagination. The framing theory complements this idea and “emphasizes the power of the media to draw attention to certain issues and generate frameworks for the interpretation of social events” (D´Adamo, Garcia & Freidenberg, 2007, p. 121).

12Furthermore, according to Gerbner and Gross’s theory of cultivation (1976), the mass media (especially television) “form the social universe of their consumers from a systematic and prolonged exposure in time to repetitive and stable messages that will allow to maintain the dominant structures, values, beliefs and social orientations” (Macedo, 2017, p. 70).

Media, communication, drug use prevention and road safety

13In the 1970s, Unesco recognized the importance of the media in mass communication in the prevention of drug addiction, due to their ability to transmit knowledge and to generate certain attitudes towards drug use. Megías (2010) and Becoña (2012) also discuss the importance of these means as essential agents in the prevention of drug use, as pointed out by Beneit, Garcia and Mayor (1997) or Cuesta, Menéndez and Ugarte (2011), these influence the knowledge that society has on a given topic, sensitizing it to maintain, increase or modify behaviours.

14According to the study carried out by the IAB (2017), the public between the ages of 16 and 30 consumes mainly internet, television and radio. According to these data, González and Carrero (2008) highlight the benefits provided by audio-visual media to establish relationships with audiences, namely: their ability to transmit rational and emotional messages, the ability to create memory and recall, as well as the stimulus of perception.

15The literature review on the object of study indicates a lack of studies that relate public relations strategies for preventing drug use with road safety. However, there are studies that separately discuss the topic of drug use and road safety.

16Thus, research was found on the effects associated with drug use (Calafat, Adrover, Juan & Blay, 2008; Ramírez, 2017; Wakefield, Loken & Hornik, 2010), centered on communication campaigns that alert for the prevention of this consumption (Sola-Morais & Quiroz, 2019). There are also works that analyse the published information on additive substances (Vega, 1995). In this context, especially those that focus on the printed media (Congil et al., 2004) stand out. Miranda and Iglesias (2015), for example, start from the agenda-setting theory, while other studies focus on framing theory, realizing that the privileged frameworks for journalistic information relate to events/infractions related to drug use (Gaona & Martínez, 2009; Gómez & Martin, 2012; Paricio, Rodríguez & Núñez-Romero, 2012).

17In addition, Martínez and Segura (2013), also stated that the treatment of information that the mass media give to the subject of drug use has changed. According to Fernández, Alameda and Martín (2011), communication on this topic has become more emotional and affective, seeking to respond to the needs for interaction with citizens (Castelló, 2014).

18With regard to the analysis of drug use prevention campaigns broadcast by audiovisual media (which are of interest for this investigation), it was noticed that previous research focused on the presence of drug addiction on radio and television (Hernández, 2001; Martínez & Cubells, 2010).

19In addition to the focus on drug use, the literature review also made it possible to find studies that addressed the relationship between road safety campaigns and the mass media. In this context, work focused on the institutions issuing prevention campaigns on road safety matters (Castelló, 2010; Castillo, Castro & Pedregal, 2011; Gaona & Martínez, 2009). On the other hand, there are also some investigations that discuss the effects of the use of paid means of communication by road safety promoters (García & López, 2017; Vega, 2004). Moreover, some of the studies found were also related to the treatment that is given to road prevention campaigns in the audiovisual media (Castelló, 2010; Martínez & Segura, 2012 and 2013; Segura, 2015; Vieira, 2016).

20However, as mentioned earlier, investigations that link the topic of drug addiction with road safety are less frequent. In the Spanish case, some studies were found that focus on communication developed by public and private institutions, with the aim of preventing traffic accidents caused by drug use (Paricio et al., 2018; Paricio, Sanfeliu, Femenia, López-Trigo & Puchalt, 2017).

21In light of the literature review carried out, it is concluded that, in Spain, there is a lack of studies that seek to understand the coverage that audio-visual media give to prevention campaigns that link the consumption of addictive substances with road safety. Thus, the relevance of this investigation is justified.

Methodology

22This investigation then analyses the effectiveness of public relations, in particular media relations, in the context of campaigns to prevent drug use and road safety, led by public and private institutions that are responsible for prevention, in Spain. In order to fulfil this objective, the informative treatment that these campaigns generate in the mass media was evaluated, more specifically, in the audio-visuals media.

23With regard to the role that television and radio can play in the dissemination of campaigns on road safety and addictive substances, the initial hypotheses of the investigation are as follows:

  1. the coverage of prevention campaigns in audio-visual media will be high, integrated and continuous throughout the year, so that these media can carry out a journalistic treatment of the topic that facilitates their integration in the media and public agenda;

  2. the framing and thematization of campaigns in audio-visual media must be in harmony with the strategic objectives of the institutions working on prevention.

24The general and specific objectives of the investigation are as follows:

  1. to know the public relations strategies, in terms of prevention, developed by the main Spanish institutions that work in the prevention of drug consumption, paying special attention to relations with the media, in order to understand the respective consequences for road safety:

    1. to know the type of preventive actions developed;

    2. to know the objectives, strategies, types of audiences and substances prioritized by the institutions in their campaigns;

    3. to know the role of relations with the media, paying special attention to television and radio, as well as the frameworks they give to the subject;

  2. to know the coverage and impact of campaigns on audio-visual media in Spain, during the period under study:

    1. to know and compare the coverage of the campaigns in the analysed media (television and radio);

    2. to know the impact of the informational treatment of campaigns on audiences;

    3. to know the economic value of the coverage generated in the audio-visual media;

  3. to know the framework given to prevention campaigns on television and radio:

    1. to know the time frame of campaigns in audio-visual media;

    2. to know the weight of the different communication strategies in the informative treatment of the campaigns;

    3. to analyse the framework given to the information;

  4. to know the substances prioritized in the news coverage of the campaigns.

25To achieve the objectives described above, the study methodology combined qualitative and quantitative techniques, through semi-structured interviews and the respective content analysis, as well as through the application of the message exposure measurement method, which assesses the effectiveness of public relations strategies (Castillo & Álvarez, 2015; Wilcox et al., 2012).

26Thus, seeking to fulfil the first objective of the investigation, semi-structured interviews were carried out with organizations that develop prevention campaigns in terms of drug addiction and road safety. To establish these contacts, a sample was selected, and a script was drawn.

27For the group of respondents, three organizations (public and private) of national reference were selected, in the scope of prevention, namely: the General Traffic Directorate (DGT), the Foundation for Aid against Drug Addiction (FAD) and the Mapfre Foundation.

28A guide was designed for the interviews shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Interview script

1. Actions, strategies and prevention

1.1. In light of the data on road safety accidents linked to the consumption of alcohol and use of drugs, what actions are being developed by your institution to reduce these figures?

1.2. What type of preventive actions do you consider more efficient: informative, dissuasive (road control), educational (actions in educational centre) or others?

2. Campaigns and public relations

2.1. Do you carry out campaigns aimed at the prevention of drug use and its consequences for road safety?

2.2. Do you include public relations actions?

2.3. Related to these campaigns and public relations actions, what are your main goals?

2.4. What type of strategies do you prioritise?

2.5. Which substances do you focus on, or should you focus on more?

3. Públicos, meios e campanhas

3.1. What are the campaign audiences?

3.2. What role do media relations play in preventive campaigns?

3.3. Which media are your more focused on?

3.4. Which framings do you prioritise more in campaigns?

29The planning and application of the interviews took place between 2016 and 2017. After their completion and transcription, a content analysis of the main results was prepared. Piñuel and Gaitán (1999) define content analysis as the set of procedures and techniques applied to communication interactions that, previously registered, constitute the basic document of the study.

30The type of content analysis applied was categorical (Bardin, 1996). To this end, a system of variables and categories was designed, with an ad hoc categorization, and a code book was elaborated (Table 2).

Table 2: Variables (content analysis)

1

Strategies, types of programmes and/or campaigns carried out

2

Principal communication goals

3

Audience

4

Media use

5

Most valued framings

6

Prioritised substance

31In order to achieve objectives two, three and four of the investigation, the method of measuring exposure to the message was applied (Wilcox et al., 2012) which included the study of coverage and economic impact, through the systematic monitoring of campaigns through content analysis.

32Thus, firstly, an assessment was made of the media coverage generated by the ten campaigns issued by DGT, FAD and the Mapfre Foundation (Table 3) on local radio and Spanish television channels, between 2011 and 2015 (Table 4).

Table 3: Analysed campaigns

1

DGT alcohol, summer 2011

2

DGT alcohol control, December 2011

3

DGT drugs and alcohol supervision, 2012

4

DGT control and supervision of the drugs and alcohol consumption in drivers, 2013

5

DGT drugs and alcohol supervision, 2014

6

DGT alcohol and drugs, 2014

7

DGT the most expensive joint of the world

8

DGT against drug use while driving (motor Mapfre), 2012

9

DGT level 0 alcohol while driving (motor Mapfre), 2015

10

FAD “Dance music not for dancing”

Table 4: List of analysed media

Television

13 TV

Antena 3

Canal 9

Canal Sur

Canal Sur Digital

Cuatro

Euskal Telebista

Intereconomía TV

La Sexta

RTVCYL7

RTVCYL 8

Telecinco

Telemadrid

Televisión de Galicia

TVE 1

TVE 24 horas

Radio

ABC Punto Radio

Cadena COPE

Cadena SER

ESRadio

Onda Cero

Radio Intereconomía

Radio Nacional de España

33During this period, the rates of drug use and road accidents in Spain were high (INTCF, 2017), as social concern on this topic was very low2.

34To better understand this situation, in 2018, a search was made for the prevention campaigns broadcast between 2011 and 2015 in the audio-visual media, through a clipping platform, and 375 references were found, which constitute the corpus of the investigation. Then, the economic value of the coverage generated in the audio-visual media was calculated. Finally, a content analysis of the information on television and radio channels was carried out (Table 4) concerning the prevention campaigns under analysis (table 3).

35As stated by Berelson (1952) and Bardin (1996), content analysis is a technique widely used for the objective, systematic and quantitative description of messages, in addition to allowing the inference of knowledge related to them. As mentioned, a categorical content analysis was carried out (Bardin, 1996), for which a code book was developed (Table 5).

Table 5: Variables and analysis categories

1. Quantitative analysis

A) Coverage

Ownership

Scope

B) Impact

Audience

2. Economic impact analysis

3. Content analysis

A) Temporal framing – publication date

Months

Days of the week

B) Spreading scope – geographic area

C) Spatial framing by programme type

Informative (news, current affairs programmes, research programmes, etc.)

Fiction (series, films)

Entertainment (magazines, talk shows, reality shows, etc.)

Specialised programs

Others

D) Framing

Health

Incidents/crimes

Education

Others

E) Messages type

Informative

Emotional

Others

F) Substances

Legal drugs (alcohol)

Illegal drugs (cannabis, cocaine and others)

G) Corporative presence

Institution responsible for the campaign (DGT, FAD, Mapfre Foundation)

Results

Main results of the analysis of the interview

Prevention strategies and campaigns

36The studied entities implemented different strategies while working on prevention (DGT), but almost all highlighted the importance of creating dissemination campaigns (DGT and Mapfre Foundation). In addition, they highlighted the relevance of surveillance activities (DGT and FAD), as well as actions implemented at the level of education (FAD).

37Most respondents also highlighted the need to promote comprehensive and complementary strategies. DGT, for example, considers that it is more effective to combine several strategies: “informative for the general population, educational for the first ages and vigilant in health or social interventions”. FAD and the Mapfre Foundation agreed with this idea.

38On the other hand, despite indicating that emotional campaigns are effective to promote recall and memorization, organizations also considered that it is necessary to maintain more informative and vigilant campaigns.

39The opinions were, then, consensual when affirming that the communication campaigns have a great importance in the prevention of drugs consumption and in alerting to the respective consequences for road safety (FAD, DGT and Mapfre Foundation). FAD in particular, highlighted the essential role of communication and the work done by its professionals. In addition, interviewees considered it essential to establish relationships with the public in prevention strategies.

Objectives and audiences

40The objectives favoured by the three organizations are, according to the results of the interviews: knowledge and awareness of the population in general (the DGT privileges knowledge about effects, consequences and sanction measures, while the Mapfre Foundation highlights information about risks), as well as early childhood education (FAD). DGT highlights the importance on “improving knowledge of the problem, its risks and sanctions”. On the other hand, FAD has evolved from “informational objectives for training, education of the person”. In addition, the Mapfre Foundation also invests in awareness.

41About the type of campaign, depending on the audience, generalist information campaigns targeting the whole of society (DGT and FAD), the younger audiences (FAD and Fundação Mapfre) and recurring audiences (FAD) predominate. The DGT, in particular, guides, above all, the “general population, people with recidivist behaviours and a young public” and the FAD extends the effects “to society, children, adolescents and young people, to trainers and to family”.

42The media are, therefore, an essential public as generalist information campaigns predominate. In this sense, DGT, FAD and the Mapfre Foundation agree on the importance of increasing knowledge about the problem of drug use and the respective consequences for road safety by carrying out public relations actions through the mass media.

Media relations and preventive campaigns

43Regarding the type of media to which they target, the three organizations indicate their preference for generalist channels. The representative of the DGT, for example, recalled that the actions of this entity are focused, above all, on the mass media aimed at the population in general. On the other hand, although FAD recognizes the importance of actions in conventional ways, it also highlights public relations actions in other spaces and with other audiences, such as educational institutions and families.

44The three entities then prioritize relations with the generalist and mass media, in particular, with television (DGT and Fundação Mapfre). In the opinion of the interviewees, the most effective campaigns are those that run in mass media and have the power to affect knowledge in the general population.

Results of the content analysis of the interviews

Types of programmes and/or campaigns carried out

45As mentioned, all the organizations interviewed emphasized the importance of promoting comprehensive strategies, however, none of them developed comprehensive long-term programs, and as can be seen in Graph 1, the majority (66%) carry out specific short and medium campaigns.

Graph 1: Communications and public relations programmes and campaigns

Graph 1: Communications and public relations programmes and campaigns

Objectives and audiences

46The analysed institutions carried out campaigns aimed at the pursuit of various objectives, mainly cognitive and affective (Table 6). Cognitive goals predominate, being in 66% of the campaigns carried out in major media, aimed at the general population.

Table 6: Communication goals

Organisations

Cognitive

Affective

Behavioural

Others

DGT

X

X

FAD

X

X

Mapfre Foundation

X

47In none of the institutions studied did campaigns develop with a complete audience map (Graph 2). However, FAD was the one that sought to reach more audiences. In turn, DGT and Mapfre Foundation identified a small number of audiences.

Graph 2: Audiences and campaigns

Graph 2: Audiences and campaigns

48Regarding segmentation by age, the three organizations have similar strategies since they coincide when addressing, mainly, the population in general and young people (100%). However, FAD also seeks to reach to children and adolescents (Table 7).

Table 7: Audience segmented by age

Organisations

Children

Teenagers

Young people

Adults

General population

DGT

X

X

FAD

X

X

X

X

Mapfre Foundation

X

X

49Even so, it was also noticed that, in the interviews, the representatives of the three entities mentioned other stakeholders as repeat consumers (66%), the family and the trainers (33%) (Table 8).

Table 8: Other audiences

Organisations

Media

Repeat customer

Families

Trainers

Influencers

Others (driving school, school, health autorities)

DGT

X

FAD

X

X

X

Mapfre Foundation

50Still on the topic of audiences, it was noticed that none of the three institutions mentioned the media, influencers, driving schools, leisure centres, organizations dedicated to the production and distribution of legal drugs, non-governmental organization or foundations and companies, as important audiences.

Media, framings and prioritised substances

51The organizations analysed carried out campaigns in the mass media, aimed at the population in general, with television as the preferred support.

52Regarding the type of approach with which they would like the media to address the problem, all respondents agreed on the importance of the health information framework. In addition, 66,66% also stated that they favour educational and dissuasive frameworks.

53Finally, in the opinion of representatives of the institutions, campaigns to prevent alcohol consumption while driving should continue, although campaigns on the consumption of drugs such as cannabis and cocaine (FAD and Mapfre Foundation) should also be intensified, providing particular attention to information on the consequences of cannabis use on road safety.

Results of the method of measuring the exposure to the message

Coverage and impact

54As mentioned, 375 campaign coverages were analysed (the average was of 0,25 daily reproductions), of which 224 correspond to television and 151 to radio.

55Regarding ownership, on television, 74,6% of the references to campaigns were made on public stations, while 25.4% were made on private channels. The opposite is true for radio, as 26,5% of coverage refers to public stations and 74,5% to private stations.

Graph 3: Media ownership

Graph 3: Media ownership

56On the other hand, on television 51,7% of the mentions of campaigns were carried out in platforms with autonomous dissemination and 48,3% within the scope of national dissemination (Graph 4). In radio, unlike television, 17,6% of coverage was carried out in stations with autonomous diffusion scope and 83,4% with national scope (Graph 4).

Graph 4: Scope of dissemination in the analysed media

Graph 4: Scope of dissemination in the analysed media

57The average audience was 328.086,5 viewers: television had 429.289 viewers and radio 226.848 listeners.

Economic analysis results

58The coverage generated a value of €441.870,21 (€429.289 euros would correspond to television and €12.581,22 to radio). The resulting average is €220.935,11 euros.

59The Government of Spain, in turn, in the reports on “Advertising and Institutional Communication”3, informs about the investment made in DGT campaigns, but does not indicate the campaigns to which the investment corresponds or the difference between public relations and advertising campaigns.

Table 9: DGT investment 2011-2015

Television

Radio

2011

No details

2012

€2.634.777

€3.806.968

2013

€2.991.307

€3.316.422

2014

€3.200.644,7

€3.557.764,59

2015

€2.989.473,25

€3.581.719,19

Source: https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es

60The investment data of the other entities analysed are not publicly accessible.

Results of the analysis of categorical content

61The presence of the theme in the media is irregular, taking into account the months and days of media coverage of the campaigns. As can be seen in Table 10, the month with the greatest presence of campaigns was December, both on television and radio (49,5% on television and 55,6% on radio). On television, in addition to this month, it is also worth mentioning the coverage in June (20,4%), July (15,2%), April (13,1%) and August (14,3%). On the radio, in turn, the months of April (17,2%), August (17,2%) and June (11,2%) stand out. On the other hand, there are four months (January, February, March and September) where the presence of campaigns on radio and television is almost nil.

Table 10: Presence of campaigns in television and radio per month

Months

TV (mentions presence in %)

Radio (mentions presence in %)

January

0,4

0

February

0

0

March

0

0

April

13,1

17,2

May

3,4

0,6

June

20,4

11,2

July

15,2

6,6

August

14,3

17,2

September

0

0

October

4

0,6

November

1,3

0,6

December

49,5

55,6

62Regarding the days of the week on which there is greater media coverage, Sunday and Monday are highlighted on both television and radio. Regarding the framework, transgressions/crimes are privileged. During the rest of the week, coverage is low.

63As regards the distribution of coverage by geographic areas, the Community of Madrid (31,2%), Galicia (17%), Andalusia (10,5%) and the Valencian Community (8,3%) registered greater coverage (Graph 5).

Graph 5: Analysis of the dissemination scope

Graph 5: Analysis of the dissemination scope

64When analysing the type of programs in which the campaigns are mentioned, the news and topicality programs stand out, more specifically in the presentation of matters related to events and transgressions (Graph 6).

Graph 6: Framing by types of programmes

Graph 6: Framing by types of programmes

65Regarding the type of messages, the information character predominates (93%), with emotional messages being scarce (4%).

66Finally, with regard to the composition of the campaign, in 100% of the cases the institution responsible always appears and in 90,2% the substance is mentioned. It should be noted that, in most of the information analysed (89,5%), the substance treated is alcohol. Is noteworthy that in most of the analysed texts (89,5%), the treated substance is alcohol.

Discussion and conclusions

67Regarding the first objective of the study, there was a use of combined strategies, privileging informative, educational and dissuasive messages, which reinforce the need to disseminate information campaigns. This aspect is consistent with the objectives mentioned by the representatives of the analysed institutions, who highlighted the importance of cognitive aspects in the creation of knowledge and awareness in the population.

68It can also be deduced from the results of the interviews that mass media, in particular television, are considered more effective in generating knowledge in society in general.

69However, there were important deficiencies in the management of public relations, particularly, since organizations do not work with a complete public map. In this case, the media were not mentioned as a priority audience even though, in fact, their fundamental role in running the campaigns was recognized.

70The most mentioned substances, cannabis and alcohol, achieved more media coverage, since they are the substances that register the highest consumption rates in Spain, in addition to being more related to traffic accidents.

71Discussing the most mentioned frameworks, the health information bulletin stood out, being the most highlighted by the institutions analysed. However, other frameworks were highlighted by the entities studied, namely the educational and the dissuasive. For these organizations, said frameworks can be funnelled to promote knowledge and awareness about the consequences of drug use in terms of road safety among the population.

72Pertaining to the second objective of the investigation, the evaluation of exposure to the message in the analysed media (television and radio) allowed to conclude that the public relations actions implemented in the ten studied campaigns lacked effectiveness, as these obtained a very low reputation (375 reproductions in five years, which implies 0,25 appearances per day).

73Concerning the third objective, which sought to analyse the temporal framework of information pieces, it can be concluded that there is a concentration of coverage in four months and two days of the week. From these data it is possible to deduce that, even though more road accidents are registered in certain periods, the lack of continuity in the media coverage of the campaigns can result in the dispersion of the message. As such, this lack of frequency and continuity throughout the year does not favour placing the topic on the media agenda, and consequently, on the public agenda.

74There was also a notable difference in the ownership of the media and its type of dissemination. In this regard, it should be noted that, in the case of radio, private coverage was superior to public, and this is surprising data since road safety is a topic of public interest and responsibility. However, the fact that these two media complement each other in the campaigns, not reinforcing each other, so it is difficult to verify the existence of an integrated strategy in the management of relations with the audio-visual media.

75Still with respect to the third objective of the study, and due to the value generated by the media coverage, there is a low profitability and a low return on public relations actions, which did not reach half a million euros in 10 campaigns, during four years.

76Finally, regarding the fourth objective, the predominant framework is that of events/crimes. This data opposes the objectives of the institutions that work in the field of prevention, which prioritized health, education and deterrence frameworks.

77Concerning the type of programs in which the campaigns were mentioned, no reference was found in specialized and research programs, highlighting information and current affairs programs. This fact, together with the short duration of media coverage (less than one minute on average), does not favour the awareness of the problem.

78The objectives of the studied entities are not completely fulfilled, regarding the prioritized substances, due to the null presence of cannabis and the almost exclusive reference to alcohol, which dominates the discussion of the problem. Thus, it is concluded that the effectiveness of the relations with the related media seems scarce. Although organizations said that cannabis is one of the substances with a high rate of consumption among young people, the mass media did not address the issue.

79Another conclusion of the study is that, despite the high reference to the institutions responsible for the campaigns, the low coverage and little continuity do not favour their notoriety throughout the year.

80From the conclusions presented and recalling the first hypothesis of the investigation, this is now refuted, as the coverage in the media is not high, integrated or continuous throughout the year. Despite the predominance of texts on information, in line with one of the strategies favoured by the analysed entities, the reduced coverage does not favour the dissemination of the message in society.

81It can be observed that the framework, as well as the thematization of the phenomenon analysed, are not in line with some objectives mentioned by the representatives of the institutions studied, which privilege the frameworks of health and education. As such, the second hypothesis of the investigation is refuted.

82For all these reasons, the management of relations with the audiovisual media cannot be considered effective, within the scope of the analysed campaigns. As noted, organizations working on prevention do not occupy the desired place on the media agenda, nor do they achieve influence on the public agenda.

83However, from this work and its limitations, it is not possible to deduce whether the deficiencies observed in the media coverage are the result of the management carried out by the communication offices of the institutions or if they are a consequence of the interest and routines of television and radio. Such a conclusion would require a complementary investigation that included the view of professionals in these media. Therefore, we contemplate the possibility of integrating the analysis in question in the second study that will continue the investigation carried out, evaluating the campaigns of the following five years (2016-2020).

This research is part of the project “Neuroscience, Communication and Prevention of traffic accidents related to drugs use in young people. Preventive campaigns analysis in Spain and validation of a combined model of efficacy assessment in university students aged 18 to 24 in the Valencian Community”, which has received double funding from Mapfre Project, Prevention area and Road Safety. Call for Research Aids Ignacio H. de Larramendi 2015 (Reference: BIL/15/P3/051); Pre-Competitive Projects Call CEU-UCH-Banco de Santander 2016-2018. Reference: FUSPBS-PPC29/2015.

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Índice das ilustrações

Título Graph 1: Communications and public relations programmes and campaigns
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-1.png
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Título Graph 2: Audiences and campaigns
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-2.png
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Título Graph 3: Media ownership
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-3.png
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Título Graph 4: Scope of dissemination in the analysed media
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-4.png
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Título Graph 5: Analysis of the dissemination scope
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-5.png
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Título Graph 6: Framing by types of programmes
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cs/docannexe/image/3395/img-6.png
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Para citar este artigo

Referência do documento impresso

María Pilar Paricio Esteban, María Puchalt López e Sandra Femenia Almerich, «Public relations and campaigns about road safety and drug use: efficacy assessment of campaigns in audiovisual media»Comunicação e sociedade, Special Issue | 2020, 127-150.

Referência eletrónica

María Pilar Paricio Esteban, María Puchalt López e Sandra Femenia Almerich, «Public relations and campaigns about road safety and drug use: efficacy assessment of campaigns in audiovisual media»Comunicação e sociedade [Online], Special Issue | 2020, posto online no dia 30 julho 2020, consultado o 21 junho 2024. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/cs/3395

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Autores

María Pilar Paricio Esteban

Maria Pilar Paricio Esteban holds a PhD in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. She is a Full Professor of Advertising and Public Relations at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University, participated in 13 research projects and she has published five books and more than 25 chapters and articles in scientific journals on topics such as Institutional Communication, Public Relations, media agenda, road safety and drug prevention campaigns. She has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Congress of Research in Public Relations since 2013 and proofread texts from journals such as Latina de Comunicação Social, Zer, Sphera Pública, Doxa and Health and Addictions. She directs the Research Group “Communication, Analysis of Campaigns and the treatment of press information” and belongs to the Delibecracia Group.
Email: pparicio[at]uchceu.es
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8831-9352
Address: CEU Cardenal Herrera University, Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences, Department of Audio-visual Communication and Advertising. C/ Luis Vives 1, 46113 Alfara del Patriarca (Valencia), Spain

María Puchalt López

María Puchalt López holds a PhD in Communication, a degree in Audiovisual Communication and in Advertising and Public Relations. She gives classes on innovation in communication, media planning and communication actions and specialized advertising techniques. She belongs to the research groups “Rock & Love: identification of creative resources”, “Communication, Analysis of Campaigns and the treatment of press information” and Delibecracia. Coordinates the Master’s in Communication and Digital Branding. Works on proofreading in the Revista Mediterránea de Comunicación at the University of Alicante. She wrote several articles on predominant themes: Public Relations and analysis of drug addiction and road safety campaigns and analysis of campaigns and political communication.
Email: maria.puchalt[at]uchceu.es
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4098-736X
Address: CEU Cardenal Herrera University, Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences, Department of Audio-visual Communication and Advertising. C/ Luis Vives 1, 46113 Alfara del Patriarca (Valencia), Spain

Sandra Femenia Almerich

Sandra Femenia Almerich holds a PhD in Communication, a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She is a collaborating professor and teaches subjects such as: corporate communication, theory and models of public relations and internal communication in organizations. She is a member of the following research groups: “Communication, Analysis of Campaigns and the treatment of press information”; “Rock & Love: identification of creative resources” and Delibecracy. Works on proofreading in Doxa magazine. She is vice dean in the Advertising and Public Relations Degree at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1986-6421
Email: sfemenia[at]uchceu.es
Address: CEU Cardenal Herrera University, Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences, Department of Audio-visual Communication and Advertising. C/ Luis Vives 1, 46113 Alfara del Patriarca (Valencia), Spain

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