BACKGROUND: Widespread antibiotic use drives escalating antimicrobial resistance. Despite recent progress, children with acute respiratory viral illnesses are frequently prescribed antibiotics. In collaboration with the CDC Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work Program and academic partners, Pennsylvania recently developed a website (Knowwhentosayno.org) to promote antimicrobial stewardship. To create awareness, the site included a drawing competition. Evidence on strategies to motivate targeted audiences to access online resources is limited.
METHODS: We used participation records from the 2013 kids’ drawing competition and Google Analytics data on visits to thesite for the same period to assess use of this approach to increase use of the website. The competition guidelines directed participants to the Kids’ Hangout section of the site for ideas and sample entries. Various methods were used to create awareness about the competition including emails, flyers, announcements in print and online, and newsletters directed to childcare facilities. Flyers were distributed to multiple venues including pediatric clinics, libraries, farmers markets, and welcome centers on interstate highways. Winners were announced through the Website and other modalities during the annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.
RESULTS: Three hundred eighty-eight children from 31% (21 of 67) of counties in Pennsylvania submitted entries. Of these 24% were from children ≤4, 36% from 5-6, and 40% were by 7-8 years old. A third of the entries were mailed from childcare facilities. A winner from each category was declared and their entries were posted on the website. After the announcement, 81.4% of the 1,839 unique visitors who visited the site were new. Google Analytics trends showed bounces in activity that correlated with competition announcement in September, October, and November 2013 and when winners received prizes from the state’s Physician General in February 2014. Eighty percent of the 2,213 new sessions in 2014 are new and increased activities showed a similar trend.
CONCLUSIONS: The drawing competition engaged not only children but also their parents and childcare providers. Increases in website traffic correlated with drawing competitions, suggesting that this approach could be used to promote online resources.