CHAPEL HILL, NC – March 17, 2010 – Jennings, the Chapel Hill marketing and branding company, recently headed to Carrboro High School in Carrboro, NC to help the school clean up their environment. Jennings went into the high school with the aim of helping students become more aware of the importance of hand hygiene.
Jennings took their original hand hygiene program, entitled “Speak Up. Wash Up.” to schools after developing it in partnership with a hospital client, Tufts Medical Center. The program was such a success at Tufts that it received national recognition from USA Today, and has since been adopted by additional hospitals. Jennings has now adapted the program for schools, targeting the messaging for 15 to 18 year-olds, instead of hospital officials.
Carrboro High School is the pilot study for school facilities. Stickers were placed in the halls of the high school, restrooms, teacher’s lounges, the cafeteria, and locker rooms. The over-sized stickers, ranging in size from eight to 12 inches are bright and eye-catching with phrases like “Women wash their hands more than men. Let’s work on that fellas.”
“We know the program works in the healthcare environment, but communicating with 15 to 18 year-old students is a whole new ballgame,” said Dan Dunlop, president of Jennings. “Using a speak bubble theme for the campaign, we created a culture that was lively and fun. At the same time, we emphasized to the students the importance of staying healthy and that hand washing is a vital part of that. By keeping hand hygiene fun and top of mind, students are more likely to remember to do it and to prod their peers to wash their hands.
“The school will measure the program’s success through an awareness survey and by tracking absenteeism. Jennings hopes this will be the first of many schools to implement the “Speak Up. Wash Up.” program.
With recent illnesses like H1N1 and the norovirus infection spreading so rapidly through schools this past year, and students missing large amounts of school, this campaign comes at a critical time.
“Most importantly, the hand hygiene campaign will only be successful if it is lasting,” said Dunlop. “It can not be the ‘idea of the week’ or ‘program of the month.’ This needs to be a sustained effort and an ongoing program to take effect and help keep students healthy.”