Major milestones don’t just happen during the baby and toddler stages. The teen years are full of exciting developmental milestones that are worth acknowledging — and celebrating — if we want to change the narrative surrounding the teen years. And we do. Because when parents believe negative stereotypes about teens, it harms parent-teen relationships. And research shows that countering negative stereotypes is linked with greater flourishing and less risky behavior in teens.
To counterbalance the negative messaging about teens that permeates the media, the Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC) created a micro-influencer campaign centered on those exciting and defining moments that parents get to witness with their young people to get parents and teens excited to experience adolescence.
The campaign had two main objectives:
Engage parent bloggers/influencers to amplify CPTC’s strength-based messaging recognizing and celebrating teen milestones using the #teenmilestone hashtag
Influence the participants’ perspectives on parenting their own teens, including the way they communicate with and write about them, continuing CPTC’s efforts of reframing the cultural narrative around parenting teens
CPTC dedicated the month of November 2021 (with a nod to the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday) to the #teenmilestone celebration. It would be a month of “giving thanks” for teen milestones. We created a landing page with a branded calendar containing a new milestone to discover each day of the month. Each post was brief and easily-digestible, revealing each milestone in 100 words or less.
Geben Communications assisted us with recruiting a diverse group of 19 micro-influencers (+ three influencers just over the line with 100,000 followers) who were also parents of tweens and teens. We assigned each of them one or two milestones to write about on their own blogs and social media channels using the #teenmilestone hashtag. Through their posts, the influencers shared their own experiences with their teens reaching that milestone, including photos and personal anecdotes.
Each influencer’s post deployed in tandem with complementary messaging on the CPTC social channels. Throughout the month of November, our combined audience experienced daily #teenmilestone posts discussing everything from teens’ first time driving to their first thoughtful argument.
The participating influencers shared a diverse mix of relatable, moving, and inspiring stories of how they celebrated their own teens’ milestones. In total, 390 pieces of content were created for the campaign, earning an approximate reach of 6.3 million. The campaign brought 3k organic visitors and more than 6k organic pageviews to CPTC’s website, parentandteen.com.
We also wrapped up the campaign with a survey to the participating influencers. According to the results, 90% of the influencers found the material we provided them easy to understand and implement. Additionally, and very importantly to our mission to change the cultural narrative, 57% said it changed the way they think about and communicate with their own teens, and 52% said it changed the way they write about teens.
All in all, the campaign helped to not only spread CPTC’s strength-based, positive framing of adolescence throughout an audience of more than 6 million, but also to build productive, reciprocal relationships with influential voices in the parenting community. These micro-influencers will now work alongside CPTC in contributing more positive stories of parenting teens to the broader media landscape, thus reframing the prevailing cultural narrative from one that sees the teen years as a time to survive, to one that embraces it as a time to thrive. It’s these changed mindsets and actions that can make a real difference in the lives of teens and how they are being raised – helping them to become their best selves and contribute positive change to their communities.
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