THE USE OF SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS IN RAISING AWARENESS OF THALASSEMIA IN THE UAE
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The aim of the present study is to evaluate the communication strategies that were adopted by thalassemia campaigns in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The author discusses how thalassemia campaigns relay their messages and activities. Which communication channels are used by the campaigns? And which target audience do they consider to be important? The content analysis and survey were conducted to understand the strategy and impact of the campaigns. The results confirm that the campaigns were successful in various aspects such as planning, targeting the audience, coming up with creative and appropriate messages, as well as choosing effective communication channels. The awareness strategy utilised in the campaign took into consideration the specific social and cultural aspects of the Gulf region, especially where endogamy marriages take place, and which thus are directly related to the campaign’s subject. The research results indicate that social media usage (37.52%), personal communication (30.02%) and print media (15.03%) played a significant role during the campaigns in raising awareness of thalassemia in the UAE. It was found that less than half of all respondents (48.21%) confirmed that they received information regarding the disease through thalassemia campaigns’ web sites, 20.36% said that they accumulated information about the disease from mass media, while 13.16% of respondents said that local media outlets were their source of information about thalassemia.
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