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Snapchat Drug Prevention Video Contest

Hosted by: Cherokee FOCUS - Drug Free Cherokee

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We collaborated with the Lieutenant of Cherokee County School Police to develop and promote a Snapchat video contest. The winning video from the contest will be used in future DFC social media campaigns. The contest was offered to our local middle school and high school students. Teachers who worked in digital media, audio, and film at these schools assisted in promoting these videos. The winning video(s) will also be featured in a DFC sponsorships ad to local high schools during their football games (e.g., Jumbotron ads). The public service announcement (PSA) videos were to be 15 seconds long, addressing trending concerns in underage alcohol use, tobacco/nicotine use, marijuana use, or vaping, and explaining why staying drug-free is important or why the choice to stay drug-free matters. The contest was launched in October 2021, with entries due December 6, 2021. We received six entries in total. Our Board of Directors and members of our DFC coalition are currently judging the entries. Out of the six entries, the two most outstanding ones focused on underage drinking. The top five entries were posted on our website.

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Our community recently has seen several tragedies involving teens and vehicular crashes, with substance misuse being a key factor in these events. One of the PSA video entries focused on reviewing the legal consequences of drinking and driving in our community.

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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Create an ongoing conversation about underage drinking and substance use prevention in the community
  • Create new resources/materials (e.g., publications, handouts, factsheets, videos, graphics) to support prevention of underage drinking and misuse of other substances
  • Encourage community and local businesses to implement measures to prevent underage drinking (e.g., restricting or decreasing sales of alcohol at community events; conducting responsible beverage service training)
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

The Lieutenant of Cherokee County School Police and our DFC coalition brainstormed and developed the criteria for the contest. The lieutenant was instrumental in promoting the contest to the schools and teachers. The students however, developed the content for the videos. Some entries were from individual students, whereas other entries involved group collaboration, which was great to see! In the end, the goal was to let the youth voice be heard, and it was achieved!

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

Yes, our planning was delayed, and the direction of our activity was altered due to the increased complexity of hosting an in-person event.

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What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Lack of promotion/awareness of our activity or organization
  • Promotion and interest was slow at first; however, the lieutenant was persistent in reaching out to teachers, which we believe was the key to our success.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We overcame these challenges with persistence, sending frequent emails and other communication. Having a school police member champion this activity was priceless!

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What are your next steps?

  • Create a public education campaign to raise awareness and/or change behaviors around underage drinking (i.e., create PSAs and other promotional materials)
  • The winner was announced at the end January, and their winning video will be used in our next geotargeting Snapchat ad campaign.

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