Measuring advertising effectiveness in primary health care settings

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Health Promotion Association


Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


School of Regional Professional Studies Deans Office




Manning, T., James, R., & Gregg, C. (2001). Measuring advertising effectiveness in primary health care settings. Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, 12(2), 167.


Issue addressed: The effectiveness of various advertising strategies for a primary health care service. Methods: Two methods of data collection were employed: telephone interviews were conducted with a random sample of the Greater Bunbury Area population, and reception staff of Bunbury Primary Health Services collected data from clients attending the service. Results: Twenty-two per cent of the telephone sample were able to correctly list one or more programs offered by Bunbury Primary Health Services. The most effective medium for advertising was word of mouth and free local newspapers. Data collected by reception staff supported these results: the most effective form of advertising identified was word of mouth, followed by newspapers, recommendations from a child health nurse or general practitioner and fliers. Conclusions: This study indicates that free local newspapers are the most effective method of advertising for maintaining general awareness of primary health programs in Bunbury, Western Australia. So what?: A literature search found no reports, published or unpublished, on the subject of marketing primary health programs or advertising effectiveness. This survey has assisted Bunbury Primary Health Services to make informed decisions regarding effective methods of advertising. The evaluation methodology can be easily used by other primary health care providers.