Need for more stories on cost-effectiveness is highlighted
Sarasota, Florida-January 3, 2007-The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) has released the second of two reports analyzing the coverage and portrayal of dietary supplements in the media. One key finding is that more emphasis should be placed on promoting stories related to the cost-effectiveness of dietary supplements.
The DSEA report summarizes media coverage of dietary supplements by monitoring the number of related news stories and their prominence, organizing them into specific categories and analyzing them for tone and quality. The report covers six months of media coverage through November 2006.
“With this report we are continuing to provide insight into the media’s coverage of our industry,” said Jon Benninger, DSEA board president. “This information helps us develop strategies to increase the quantity and improve the tone of media coverage in the future.”
In addition to assessing the amount of coverage and key themes, the program evaluates each story for its tone: positive, negative or neutral.
From July to November 2006, over 7,000 articles were evaluated and placed into the following categories: safety, quality control, efficacy, quality of life, and health care savings. “Opportunities to view,” a measure of the extent to which the coverage penetrated the target population, was calculated to be over 1.3 billion. Twenty-two percent of the articles were reported as being positive in tone, with 29 percent reported as negative and 49 percent reported neutral. Recurring positive themes included reports that vitamins and minerals were noted in helping the body protect itself from harm and mention of the anti-aging benefits of dietary supplements. Recurring negative themes included concerns about safety and regulation. According to the report, one key issue is the fact that the cost-effectiveness of dietary supplements is not receiving enough media attention; another is that negative perceptions of quality, safety and efficacy need to be addressed on an ongoing basis.
This report is the second of two six-month studies and follows the initial report, which was presented at the NBJ/Newport Summit in Laguna Niguel, California this July. A full report for the year will be presented at Focus on the Future on February 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For further information or to obtain a copy of the report e-mail Deb Knowles at [email protected].
DSEA is a coalition of industry leaders whose mission is to educate consumers, media and policymakers on the benefits of dietary supplements for optimizing health and prevention of disease, with a focus on their safety, efficacy and regulation. Its donors include nutritional and dietary supplement suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and publishers.
Since its inception five years ago, DSEA has generated millions of media impressions increasing public awareness of the benefits of nutritional supplements through its education project, the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau (DSIB). In addition to media outreach, DSEA has produced a Web site, www.supplementinfo.org, which has become a well-known resource for objective information about nutritional supplements accessed on an ongoing basis by media, consumers, health professionals and legislators.
DSEA board members include the American Herbal Products Association, The Canadian Health Food Association, Capsugel, Herbalife (HLF), NBTY, the Natural Products Association, Natrol, Inc.(NTOL), New Hope Natural Media/Penton Media, Virgo Publishing and the Vitamin Shoppe.
For information, contact Deb Knowles by phone 941-349-9044 or e-mail debknowle[email protected].