Locals encouraged to pitch new community campaign to quit smoking

Gippsland Primary Health Network's Pitch to Quit campaign will be a campaign broadcast locally and created by locals. photograph supplied.
Gippsland Primary Health Network's Pitch to Quit campaign will be a campaign broadcast locally and created by locals. photograph supplied.

Gippsland Primary Health Network is enlisting the help of the Latrobe Valley to create a new community campaign to quit smoking.

Pitch to Quit is a competition where locals can submit their idea for the next local quit campaign.

The competition has three stages, firstly locals can submit their campaign idea online, the finalists will present and workshop their campaign with a panel of experts and the winning pitch will be produced as a community campaign.

The pitch will be judged based on use of facts from Quit Victoria and the Latrobe Valley Community, the uniqueness of the pitch, comprehension and compelling nature of the pitch.

After a successful campaign in 2018 PHN has decided to run the Pitch to Quit slightly differently this year, as entrants can workshop their ideas after submitting them.

Gippsland PHN chief executive officer Amanda Proposch said the new format makes entering the competition easier and more accessible.

"This year, entrants don't have to have the ability to produce something on their own," Ms Proposch said.

"They simply present their idea - whether on paper, a storyboard, in a song or through images and the Pitch to Quit team will support them to do the rest if their pitch is selected.

"One of our major goals is to reduce the number of people smoking in our community and at the same time, encourage young people not to start smoking.

"One way we can do that is through community awareness of the effects of smoking and sharing information about the help that is available for a smoker. Pitch to Quit 2020 will hopefully do both."

Gippsland PNG executive manager operations Marg Bogart said that using a campaign made by locals for locals is a great way to engage people in the campaign.

"We don't want it to look like a national or state campaign, we want campaigns that are designed by people they know and may meet on the street," Ms Bogart said. "Pitch to Quit is an initiative of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone so we are trying to do something new and different."

The Latrobe Valley has a smoking rate of almost double the state average but Ms Bogart said that the reasons for that are complicated.

"We try not to make judgements about smokers, we just want to inform people and help them change their habits, its about a change that will help their heath and wellbeing," she said.

The five finalists will awarded $1000 with the winner receiving $4500 and $100 prizes for shout outs chosen by the judges.

Submissions opened on April 11 and close on June 14 this year with the winner announced in August this year.

For more information or to make a submission go to https://pitchtoquit.gphn.org.au/.

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