Buzzing health: health education by buzz compared to print media

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Marketeers and service providers increasingly turn to word of mouth (WOM) as a means to persuade and inform individuals regarding an organization, brand or product. Positive results have been reported within the commercial sector, but does WOM also work within the context of a health education campaign? To explore the potential of WOM in health education, effects of medium channel (WOM vs. print vs. control condition) and consumer involvement (low vs. high) on participant responses were investigated. Furthermore, additional in-depth interviews were conducted in which participants disclosed their experiences. The findings suggest that WOM communications, instigated by a relatively small number of highly involved participants, can inspire attitude change among those who are lowly involved with the subject at hand. Interview results, however, indicate that health professionals should be aware of the increased efforts required from participants that WOM entails.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of health promotion and education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-289618
  • IR-83652


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