Entertainment-education (EE) is a communication strategy that uses popular media to engage with audiences on prosocial topics such as health, social tolerance and sustainability. The purpose of EE serials on radio, television or the internet is to introduce new ideas, norms and practices by means of storytelling, as well as to offer points of engagement for audiences to talk about the themes raised by the intervention. However, in today’s media landscape, it has become increasingly difficult to captivate audiences as they have fragmented across channels and have started to create and circulate content themselves. The concept of spreadable media allows us to deal with fragmentation and user-generated content in productive ways, as it recognizes the role of autonomous audience members in shaping the flows of media content in the online networks that underlie today’s media landscape. In this article, we introduce spreadable EE: an innovative approach that builds on transmedia storytelling strategies to reach and captivate target audiences for a longer period of time, and that entails collaboration with online platforms, communities and social influencers to stimulate meaningful conversations. We enhance EE's theoretical, empirical and practical traditions with insights about how today’s audiences have come to engage with media and propose strategic approaches to create and evaluate spreadable EE.

Additional Metadata
Keywords entertainment-education, social change, spreadable media, transmedia storytelling, audience, participation
Sponsor This work is supported by a grant from the Dutch Friends Lottery (MediaLab Project)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daz104, hdl.handle.net/1765/120201
Journal Health Promotion International
Lutkenhaus, R.O, Jansz, J, & Bouman, M.P.A. (2019). Toward spreadable entertainment-education. Health Promotion International, 2019, 1–10. doi:10.1093/heapro/daz104