Tagged: Social Marketing

  • Social marketing for public health systems change

    Can social marketing efforts to promote individual behavior change inhibit progress instead of advancing it? On one topic at least, the answer appears to be yes.

    A couple months ago I had the pleasure of attending the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Childhood Obesity Program Leaders’ Advance, which brings together leaders in the fight against childhood obesity to discuss strategies and approaches for reversing the increases we’ve seen in the past 30 years. The meeting was held in Oakland, California, and included a visit with the Alameda County Public Health Department to learn about their efforts. An official from the department posed a question to the group, “What do we think is the biggest barrier to the success of community efforts to reduce obesity?” What he didn’t say was: funding, poverty, racism, education, or the food and beverage industries. His answer might surprise you — individualism.

    Individual-focused messaging has led Americans to believe obesity is caused by personal choices. Click To Tweet

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  • And the award goes to …

    They’re not as well known as the Academy Awards, but in the public health realm, the Web Health Awards pack a punch.

    That’s why FHI 360’s Social Marketing and Communication (SMC) video team is pleased to announce that three of the “Making the Business Case for Prevention” videos we produced on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Community Health recently won a Web Health Awards Recognition-of-Merit Award. It is the 16th year of this prestigious competition that receives thousands of submissions and selects the best in digital health resources for consumers and health professionals.

    Our winning, documentary-style vignettes feature real-life, business-success stories that demonstrate how good health is good business. The vignettes were created to build support for community health within the business sector and to encourage similar public health initiatives nationwide.

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  • Inspiration plus imagination at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

    The National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media was an invigorating three-day conference featuring the best and brightest in the health communication field. Held August 20–22, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, the conference featured plenaries, posters, breakout sessions, boot camps and networking opportunities all focused on the theme of “Waves of Change: Managing the Possibilities.”

    Participants heard FHI 360’s Design Lab Director, Anne Quito, speak about the importance of design and creativity in health communication campaigns. FHI 360 staff also presented four posters that highlighted FHI 360’s Social Marketing and Communication work. The posters covered Geographic Information Systems tools; social media evaluation; paid media search campaigns; and use of social media to share information about dietary guidelines.

    Below are my top five conference takeaways and quotes.

    • The creative process begins and ends with empathy. — Anne Quito
    • When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. — Ethiopian proverb
    • Carve out creative time for yourself and colleagues each week for brainstorming and developing new ideas. — The Inspiration Shop conference session
    • Real problems in our society are slow boiling pots of water. They warm up gradually until we’re cooked. — Victor Stretcher
    • You can’t program a GPS unless you know where you want to go. — Katie Paine

    To learn more, you can browse the robust Twitter conversations about the conference by using the hashtag #HCMMconf.

  • When marketing and conscience merge

    In Toronto in late April, more than 500 marketers gathered to present research and discuss their trade. And though individuals representing various disciplines came from more than 40 countries, only one product was pitched: behavior change.

    The event was the World Social Marketing Conference, and it brought together a community of individuals who use conventional marketing principles to improve lives. The presentations displayed solutions as diverse as the problems that social marketers face in their work. Whether encouraging individuals receiving food subsidies in Oklahoma to consume low-fat milk, generating a brand that promotes tobacco cessation for teens who frequent alternative rock concerts in Virginia, or modifying spoons to decrease sugar consumption in Sri Lanka, presenters at the conference showed that the marketing techniques that so successfully encourage unhealthy behaviors can also be used to develop positive ones.

    One other important outlet for social marketing research was also present in Toronto. Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ), a peer-reviewed journal managed in association with FHI 360, has been a voice for the social marketing community since 1994. Founded by Carol Bryant and James Lindenberger at the University of South Florida, SMQ has been a bridge between academics and practitioners and is the longest-running publication focused exclusively on social marketing.

    SMQ delivers theoretical research and case studies as well as “Notes from the Field” from prominent social marketers such as Lynne Doner Lotenberg, Phil Kotler and Bill Smith. It serves as a water cooler to the community, ensuring that the conversations started in places like Toronto continue to occur outside of convention centers.

    For more information on the Social Marketing Quarterly, visit smq.sagepub.com.

  • Kids in the United States spend a shocking amount of time in front of a screen each day. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8–18 spend an average of 7.5 hours of time in front of a screen for entertainment — be it a television, computer, videogame, tablet or smart phone. And to be clear, this isn’t time spent on the computer for school work, but rather time spent relaxing and having fun. And it really adds up — over a year, 7.5 hours per day comes to 114 days of total entertainment screen time!

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and time in front of a screen is time not spent being physically active. In an era when about one in six kids is obese, more than triple the number from 30 years ago, families and communities are getting engaged to make a change.

    Working with the CDC, FHI 360 has developed an interactive and animated infographic called Screen Time vs. Lean Time, which addresses just some of the ways kids can be physically active instead of staring at a screen. It also provides tips for parents on ways to limit their own child’s screen time.

    Click the image below to view the interactive infographic!

    Scree time vs. Lean time

    For more information about the work that we do in social marketing and communication, visit smcc.fhi360.org.