Benefits and Barriers of a Social Marketing Campaign Based on the Example of the Child Helpline

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Abstract

The Estonian child helpline service launched in 2009 uses a free nationwide 24h Child Helpline phone number. The purpose of the service is to enable everyone to report on children in need, forward the information to specialists and, if necessary, get primary social counselling and crisis counselling for children and other people. The service is provided in accordance with the Estonian Child Protection Act that prescribes that all citizens are required to immediately notify the social services, police or other assistanceproviding authorities about children in need of protection or assistance. This article is based on studies conducted between 2013 and 2015. In the course of the research, data were collected for increasing the effectiveness of the hotline’s communication campaigns. In addition to the general objective of the article, the data collected includes quantitative research mixed with qualitative data that helps to understand the factors that encourage and inhibit the use of the hotline service. The focus is on indicators that illustrate the effectiveness of the diffusion of innovation, and special attention is paid to the results that highlight risk, the existence of mental barriers and trust. Finally, the study analyses the weaknesses of past hotline campaigns and makes some suggestions for future.

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