The Potentials of Mass Media in Health PromotionThe objective of the research is to review the potentials of mass media in representing health issues in Thailand. The research are incorporated with 3 projects: The review of the status of the body of knowledge on mass media in health promotion in Thailand and other countries; the health agenda setting process of Thai mass media; The lessons-learned analysis of the health media campaign implementation in the context of campaign against AIDS, Dengue Haemorrhegic Fever prevention campaigns, Anti-Drugs campaign, and Anti-smoking campaigns. Documentary research, depth interviews, and ethnographic future research were implemented in order to collect data. Research results indicate that:Mass media is one of the channels to disseminate health information to the publics. In case of using mass media as the major communication channel, it is necessary to have a strategic plan and to consider the real potentials of mass media. Only mass media cannot lead to the desired behaviors; however, mass media need to be incorporated with other forms of media in order to achieve the goal. The health agenda setting process of Thai mass media shows that the government sector, the business sector, and the civic sector are competing to seek call attention from the media. However, mass media are the major factor in decision making process, by considering to the movement, the hotness of agendas, and media producer factor. Before presenting the agenda to the publics, all media will construct the reality at different degrees, dependent on the budget and information dependency, nature of mass media, and the ideology of the producer.The major components of media health campaigns include: (1) The personal/ organizational component — leaders, partners; (2) The process component —goals, target groups, information/themes, communication channels, communication strategies, and research; (3) The system component — the development of the support for the potential of the community to run the local campaign, the cooperation with partners to develop other systemic measures in the society.The media health campaign in Thailand have 5 styles: A specific activity, a core and provincial teams, a main team and its partners, an office and its agents, an organization and its advocacy.The working process between a campaign team and mass media in Thailand include 7 styles: a step-by-step contact, a request for support, a partnership cooperation, a media buying, an information provider, a movement creator, and a heart-to-heart connection.Factors that lead to the effectiveness of media health campaigns in Thailand include (1) The personal/ organizational component — a capacity of the leader to cooperate with partners, an avoidance to make foes, various partners, clear understandings about roles and responsibility of partners, proud feelings of partners to be a part of the campaign, good relationships with media and political partners. (2) The process component – A campaign without any announcement that it is a campaign, a continuity of the campaign, a systematic planning, a smoothness of campaign implementation, measurable goals, a treatment of target groups as partners and a support for target groups to work as communicators or to run a horizontal campaign, enough information, a link between the information and Thai context, an appropriate design to save data, skills to present the information in the public, various communication channels, a creativity to put the information in the media in a short period of time, a presentation of direct experiences of those who face the problems, uses of personal media to give information, an easy-to-understand, closed-to-the public, and concrete information, a formative research, a pre-testing process. (3) the system component – policy advocacy, the support of international movement.Factors that bring obstacles to the campaigns include: (1) The personal/ organizational component – a treatment of the campaign as only a specific activity or an unimportant activity, an emphasis on image making, an uncooperative work between organization (2) The process component – the campaign management by depending on the top-down approach, by sticking to the budget or to the board members, the complex information/themes, unorganized information, difficulty in thematic creation, no deep understanding of the problems, a message design without careful thought of the situation, a CEO acting as a creative, a creativity without understanding of the development of target groups, the dependency on mass media only, the emphasis on media strategies but not on message strategies, the emphasis on chic words without the real concept (3) The system component – the problem of a more emphasis of benefit side of the mass media, a restriction of the air time-sharing regulation, an agenda setting process of the media, an impact of personal arrangement in the media, a competition in media placement, and an ineffective relationship network among social members.Therefore, in order to run the effective campaign in the future, those who implement the policy should consider health campaigns as the public policy, support community-based campaigns, seek to cooperate with the partners in mobilize other policy measures and campaign measures. In terms of campaign management, partnership approach, the participatory process in intergrated campaign planning, the development of campaign organizations and health information centers are necessary. In addition, the media buying process should be implemented under the learning process between campaign organizations and media organizations. In terms of campaign implementation, the two-way communication with an open dialogue at all levels, the balance between communication through mass media and other channels, and the research-based decision making process are necessary. In addition, health media advocacy campaigns should be promoted.