Name of Intervention/ Program
Rhode Rules for Rhode Island

Background and Situation Analysis
Underage alcohol consumption has long been associated with a range of health risks, encompassing both physical and mental well-being, as well as academic performance. Access to alcohol by teenagers, often obtained through older siblings or parents, poses a significant threat to their health and prospects. Recognizing the gravity of this issue, several states have implemented Social Host laws, aiming to hold accountable adults who furnish alcohol to minors or condone underage drinking on their premises, with the threat of criminal charges looming over offenders. However, the effectiveness of these laws hinges upon the awareness of parents and older siblings regarding their existence. A comprehensive study conducted in 2020 shed light on the prevalence of underage alcohol acquisition behaviors among youths aged 18-20 in Rhode Island. Shockingly, nearly 59% of these individuals reported obtaining alcohol from a friend or relative aged over 21. Even more concerning was the finding that 35% of the surveyed youths sourced their alcohol directly from a parent or guardian. Such behavior not only jeopardizes the health and well-being of underage individuals but also inflicts long-lasting repercussions on their cognitive development and decision-making abilities. In response to this pressing issue, Rhode Island, along with several other states, has enacted Social Host laws to curb underage alcohol consumption and mitigate its adverse effects. In a concerted effort to promote the health and safety of their communities, six Rhode Island Prevention Coalitions have united under the banner of “Rhode Rules for Rhode Island.” This public health awareness campaign is dedicated to disseminating crucial information about the state’s Social Host Law. Central to the campaign’s mission is the dissemination of the law’s stipulations, which expressly prohibit the purchase, provision, or facilitation of alcohol consumption for individuals under the age of 21. Through “Rhode Rules for Rhode Island,” the coalition endeavors to empower Rhode Islanders with knowledge about the legal ramifications surrounding underage alcohol provision and consumption. By raising awareness and fostering a culture of responsibility, the campaign aims to curtail the incidence of underage drinking and safeguard the well-being of Rhode Island’s youth. The Rhode Rules Campaign tactically employed social norming strategies to transform attitudes and behaviors regarding underage drinking, particularly emphasizing parental involvement as a source of alcohol. By spotlighting the fact that the majority of Rhode Island parents refrain from providing alcohol to minors, the campaign aimed to debunk the misconception that such behavior is commonplace. Through precisely crafted messaging and communication initiatives, Rhode Rules confronted the notion that supplying alcohol to minors is an acceptable practice. By elucidating the law and its consequences, the campaign facilitated a heightened awareness of legal obligations, thereby diminishing the social acceptability of allowing underage drinking within the community.

Priority Audiences(s)
During the formative research for the Rhode Rules campaign, two primary target groups were identified: Rhode Island parents and adults connected to youth. Rhode Island residents aged 21-25+ years.

Behavioral Objectives
The campaign aimed to educate and inform the priority audiences about the: Legal ramifications of the Rhode Island Social Host Law. Detrimental effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain. Additionally, the campaign sought to promote specific prevention behaviors, such as storing alcohol securely, engaging in conversations with youth and young adults about the risks of underage drinking, and encouraging other adults in the community to adopt preventive measures.

Description of Strategy/Intervention
The Rhode Rules for Rhode Island campaign was crafted through extensive formative research, incorporating a literature review, focus groups, and key informant interviews with members of the priority audiences. Analysis of the audience feedback revealed that parents desired clear messaging regarding the law and its consequences, while young adults sought visually compelling content outlining the penalties for violating the law. Key messages developed included: For Rhode Island Parents and Youth-connected Adults: Presentation of local statistics and real-life stories. Highlighting the adverse health effects of underage drinking on youth. Explanation of the Rhode Island Host Law and its repercussions. Emphasis on the rapid onset of alcohol dependence in teenagers. Explanation of the legal penalties for providing alcohol to minors. Straightforward messaging on the law and its consequences, focusing on the impact on teenagers rather than on parents themselves. For Rhode Island Young Adults (21-25+): Presentation of local statistics and real-life narratives. Explanation of the legal consequences of supplying alcohol to underage individuals. Illustration of the potential reckless behaviors resulting from underage drinking, such as drunk driving. Discussion of the negative health effects of underage alcohol consumption, particularly its impact on brain development.

In partnership with the RI prevention coalitions, the Rhode Rules for Rhode Island campaign was launched in June 2021. In the first year of the campaign, JSI implemented a Rhode Island partner survey to inform a variety of campaign elements, including communication channels. Based on the survey results, content ran on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. During year one, JSI created a social media toolkit for use by Rhode Island partners who are interested in engaging with the Rhode Rules campaign (Appendix H). The Rhode Rules Social Media Toolkit was downloaded 63 times throughout the campaign. The Social Media Toolkit includes tips for success, sample messages, and images that support partner communication of the Rhode Island Social Host Law. Users could also download a zipped collection of shareable social media images from the toolkit. At the close of the first year of the campaign, a press conference was held at the North Providence Police Station to announce the existence of the Rhode Island Social Host Law campaign. The press conference featured community members and leaders including North Providence Mayor Charles A. Lombardi, Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones, and members of the law enforcement community throughout Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Regional PFS Coordinators. JSI provided Digital Press Kits to be shared with local media before the press conference (Appendix I). Following the press conference, two televised segments and three articles about the campaign were published and shared across eight media outlets. In the campaign’s second year, five PFS regions orchestrated a Fourth of July Rhode Rules sticker shock campaign. Novel campaign materials tailored for this initiative included brown bags, stickers, bottleneck tags, posters, window clings, koozies, flyers, billboards, postcards, food delivery bags, and coasters. Social media advertising persisted on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, with TikTok and Spotify joining the roster. Additionally, a new billboard was erected in Woonsocket, RI, with a Spanish-translated version displayed in Central Falls, RI. This billboard, incorporating messaging from the first year and a fresh image, catered to regional preferences. Furthermore, a campaign rack card was devised in response to regional requests, featuring concise facts about the detrimental effects of underage drinking on youth and details about the Social Host Law. In year three, the campaign sustained its presence on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Collaborating with Frontier Animations, the RI prevention coalitions and JSI crafted two 30-second animated campaign videos targeting parents and young adults aged 21-25. Adopting a “Bad Idea” persona as the narrator, these animations leveraged the engaging and memorable nature of storytelling through design. The videos were disseminated across social media platforms and streaming television, with audio clips aired on the local RI radio station, WPRO. Year three also saw the translation of the previously developed Rhode Rules rack card into Spanish. RI Region 2 provided JSI with the translated language for the rack card, and JSI used the translated language to develop a Spanish version of the rack card. The translated rack cards were passed out at mental health and other events in Central Falls and Woonsocket, two of the region’s communities with the most Spanish-speaking residents.

Evaluation Methods and Results
The evaluation methods employed to assess the effectiveness of the campaign yielded noteworthy results. Audio advertisements from the two animated videos aired on the local radio station, WPRO, between August 16, 2023, and August 31, 2023. These 30-second ads garnered 9 clicks and a remarkable 121,487 impressions, boasting an impressive completion rate of 83.52%, indicating widespread listenership. Simultaneously, from August 16, 2023, to September 30, 2023, the two animated campaign videos were featured as advertisements on Spectrum streaming TV. Broadcasting across various networks including ESPN, XUMO Play, Fox News, CNN, and Vizio Movies & TV, these ads reached a substantial audience. Notably, ESPN emerged as the top streaming network, amassing over 35,000 impressions during the ad run. Cumulatively, the video advertisements amassed an impressive 318,954 impressions with a commendable completion rate of 97.12%. Of these impressions, the parent-targeted video accounted for 160,198, while the young adult-targeted video garnered 158,756 impressions. Remarkably, both videos boasted similar completion rates, with the parent-targeted video at 96.75% and the young adult-targeted video at 97.48%. Furthermore, the year-three digital marketing campaign made significant strides, amassing nearly 700,000 impressions among Rhode Island residents across both priority audiences. These digital advertisements elicited 48,007 engagements from Rhode Island residents, encompassing comments, likes, shares, and video views. Tailored to each audience and platform, these advertisements effectively conveyed the campaign’s core message, urging against the purchase, provision, or supply of alcohol to individuals under 21. A comparative analysis of the year-three evaluation data with the preceding years demonstrated substantial progress throughout the campaign’s duration. Notably, from year one to year three, Facebook reach and engagement surged from 6,887 and 2,443 to 54,370 and 3,445, respectively. Similarly, Instagram experienced a remarkable uptick in reach and engagement, escalating from 532 and 77 to 10,711 and 299, respectively. These figures underscore the campaign’s growing impact and effectiveness in reaching and engaging with its target audiences over time.

Entry Letter: NN

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