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Currently accepted at: JMIR Mental Health

Date Submitted: Oct 9, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Oct 9, 2017 - Nov 3, 2017
Date Accepted: Dec 14, 2017
(closed for review but you can still tweet)

This paper has been accepted and is currently in production.

It will appear shortly on 10.2196/mental.9120

The final accepted version (not copyedited yet) is in this tab.

The final, peer-reviewed published version of this preprint can be found here:

Influencing the Conversation About Masculinity and Suicide: Evaluation of the Man Up Multimedia Campaign Using Twitter Data

Schlichthorst M, King K, Turnure J, Sukunesan S, Phelps A, Pirkis J

Influencing the Conversation About Masculinity and Suicide: Evaluation of the Man Up Multimedia Campaign Using Twitter Data

JMIR Ment Health 2018;5(1):e14

DOI: 10.2196/mental.9120

PMID: 29449203

PMCID: 5832906

Influencing the Conversation About Masculinity and Suicide: Evaluation of the Man Up Multimedia Campaign Using Twitter Data

  • Marisa Schlichthorst; 
  • Kylie King; 
  • Jackie Turnure; 
  • Suku Sukunesan; 
  • Andrea Phelps; 
  • Jane Pirkis

ABSTRACT

Background:

It has been suggested that some dominant aspects of traditional masculinity are contributing to the high suicide rates among Australian men. We developed a three-episode documentary called Man Up, which explores the complex relationship between masculinity and suicide and encourages men to question socially imposed rules about what it means to be a man and asks them to open up, express difficult emotions, and seek help if and when needed. We ran a three-phase social media campaign alongside the documentary using 5 channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr).

Objective:

This study aimed to examine the extent to which the Man Up Twitter campaign influenced the social media conversation about masculinity and suicide.

Methods:

We used Twitter insights data to assess the reach of and engagement with the campaign (using metrics on followers, likes, retweets, and impressions) and to determine the highest and lowest performing tweets in the campaign (using an aggregated performance measure of reactions). We used original content tweets to determine whether the campaign increased the volume of relevant Twitter conversations (aggregating the number of tweets for selected campaign hashtags over time), and we used a subset of these data to gain insight into the main content themes with respect to audience engagement.

Results:

The campaign generated a strong following that was engaged with the content of the campaign; over its whole duration, the campaign earned approximately 5000 likes and 2500 retweets and gained around 1,022,000 impressions. The highest performing tweets posted by the host included video footage and occurred during the most active period of the campaign (around the screening of the documentary). The volume of conversations in relation to commonly used hashtags (#MANUP, #ABCMANUP, #LISTENUP, and #SPEAKUP) grew in direct relation to the campaign activities, achieving strongest growth during the 3 weeks when the documentary was aired. Strongest engagement was found with content related to help-seeking, masculinity, and expressing emotions. A number of followers tweeted personal stories that revealed overwhelmingly positive perceptions of the content of the documentary and strongly endorsed its messages.

Conclusions:

The Man Up Twitter campaign triggered conversations about masculinity and suicide that otherwise may not have happened. For some, this may have been game-changing in terms of shifting attitudes toward expressing emotions and reaching out to others for help. The campaign was particularly effective in disseminating information and promoting conversations in real time, an advantage that it had over more traditional health promotion campaigns. This sort of approach could well be adapted to other areas of mental (and physical) health promotion campaigns to increase their reach and effectiveness.


 Citation

Please cite as:

Schlichthorst M, King K, Turnure J, Sukunesan S, Phelps A, Pirkis J

Influencing the Conversation About Masculinity and Suicide: Evaluation of the Man Up Multimedia Campaign Using Twitter Data

JMIR Mental Health. (forthcoming/in press)

DOI: 10.2196/mental.9120

URL: https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/9120

PMID: 29449203

PMCID: 5832906

© The authors. All rights reserved. This is a privileged document currently under peer-review/community review (or an accepted/rejected manuscript). Authors have provided JMIR Publications with an exclusive license to publish this preprint on it's website for review and ahead-of-print citation purposes only. While the final peer-reviewed paper may be licensed under a cc-by license on publication, at this stage authors and publisher expressively prohibit redistribution of this draft paper other than for review purposes.