As a young adult today there is much to take note of; a sort of pressure to be on the “up and up” of things going on. I am constantly checking my Facebook, Twitter, and texting my friends. With this surge of information, I can often feel bombarded with information overload. That goes for any young person that has school, work, and a social life to manage. With so much going on and an app for everywhere you go, where can young people find answers to the most private issues?
For example, an issue such as reproductive rights can seem private, but the marketing of organizations such as Planned Parenthood and directed towards teens is very public. With such sensitive issues, things can get messy very quickly. So my real question here is: in marketing the awareness of reproductive rights for teens, who is doing it the right way and being effective? I have a few great examples that as a young adult I have seen and have had an impact on my life.
A few years ago I was watching MTV, and I saw there was a rap contest to see which teen could write the best rap lyrics about HIV testing and safe sex. The person that won had Common, an American hip-hop artist, rapping their lyrics. I saw the resulting commercial 20 or 30 times and each time I thought, “I hope this reaches many more teens.” I think this campaign was great because:
- It was on MTV for millions of teens and young adults to see.
- The spokesperson was a well-loved celebrity with innate credibility to rap of something in this manner and still be taken seriously.
- The idea was spread by the youth themselves, therefore it wasn’t a tactic to force feed these ideas to anyone.
Another great example of reproductive rights marketing is a program through Planned Parenthood. Throughout Tucson and other cities around the nation there is the Teen Advocate Project (TAP). TAP enables students who have children of their own to stay enrolled in high school. My high school had the program which consisted of daycare for students with children under 5 years old, birth control assistance, and all other sexual awareness needs. The pamphlets given out were provided by Planned Parenthood. It was a great source of media and involvement that directly got in the hands of youth that needed the message.
Though there are many more programs out there for sexual rights advocacy, MTV and Common’s HIV rap and the TAP Program through Planned Parenthood directly affected me because they left such a lasting impression.
Written by Renee Valencia
Planned Parenthood—Before you hook up, hook up with us.