The "Tell Us Now" Campaign for Organ Donation: Using Message Immediacy to Increase Donor Registration Rates

Andy J. King, Elizabeth A. Williams, Tyler R. Harrison, Susan E. Morgan, Tamara Havermahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


There is a substantial gap between those people in the United States who identify as being favorable toward organ donation (~90%) and those registered as donors (~30%). A growing body of evidence suggests Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices are effective sites for facilitating higher organ donor registration rates on a national scale. The goal of the current study was to determine the utility and sustainability of a message immediacy approach, which draws from theoretical concepts such as priming and cues to action. Message immediacy requires individuals be: (a) exposed to a message that prompts an action, (b) in an environment where a prescribed action or behavior can be enacted, and (c) favorable toward the promoted behavior or action. Thirty-four Michigan counties, divided into three implementation groups, received campaigns in October (Group 1), November (Group 2), and December (Group 3) of 2009. Registration rates for three to six months after campaign implementation indicate that the on-site message prompts almost doubled registration rates in DMV offices. Additionally, preliminary cost-effectiveness evidence suggests message immediacy offers a relatively inexpensive campaign strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-246
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication Campaigns
  • Cues to Action
  • Message Immediacy
  • Organ Donation
  • Point-of-Decision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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