TAG: Social marketing

Take A Different Approach

Environmental communication

There’s a magic trick in environmental and sustainability communication. It’s the slight-of-hand that brings into people’s vision something that otherwise might remain unseen. Given many people live in urban areas, some far removed from wild places, the natural environment is not always on people’s radar. Given much of the imperative for sustainability action (such as climate change) lives in the mysterious realm of the future, it’s not surprising that people don’t always see the need to act now. As environmental and sustainability communicators, we have to magically reveal that which is all too often concealed. Once you understand your audience,… read more

Hitting Your Target

Hitting Your Target

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa The audience is king. Whether we like it or not, as environmental and sustainability communicators, we have a duty to serve the one true god – our target audience. Whether we want to raise awareness about international trade in endangered species, or attract new members to our NGO; whether we want to engage people in a weekend permaculture blitz, or widen our Transition Towns… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 4

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article See Part 3 of this article There’s a lot of talk about changing people’s behaviour.Talk about recycling and waste management. Talk about local economies and food production. Talk about public transport and greening community spaces. Talk, talk talk. For some reason, a great many social change programs have relied on information as the principle weapon for mass distraction – distraction from the everyday activities that otherwise keep people glued to existing and typically unsustainable behaviours.  The problem, however, is that information alone is not a particularly effective weapon…. read more

Tricks of the Trade – 3

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article  Some people describe themselves as “commitment-phobic”. Others rush headlong toward commitment as if their life depended on it. What’s curious in human behaviour is – irrespective of how we feel about commitment in personal relationships – when an individual (even better a group) commits to a small request it almost always invariably leads to the likelihood of them agreeing to something bigger and better. Get someone to sign a petition and you’ve got their love for life. That’s the theory anyway. As McKenzie-Mohr & Smith outline in their… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 2

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article “Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex than our subsequent explanations of them.” (Fyodor Dostoevsky) Ever wondered why people litter? Ever wondered why people buy pre-packaged microwave meals? Ever wondered why people buy oversized fuel-guzzling SUVs?  Chances are you’ve had a hunch or two as to why people do the weird things they do. When it comes to developing public programs for social change, however, gut feelings are not quite enough. This is not least because human beings are infinitely more complex than we often give… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 1

Social change marketing

For a few years now, “community-based social marketing” has been a buzz phrase for behaviour change programs.  Espoused by Doug McKenzie-Mohr and Will Smith (1999) in their book Fostering Sustainable Behaviour, community-based social marketing offers tools to help environmentalists to appeal to large segments of the population. The goal is to deliver programs that remove the barriers and enhance the benefits for widespread social change. Social change campaigns are therefore underpinned by a clear identification of the barriers to behaviour change (eg. people who do not grow food in their backyards may perceive it to be hard work and expensive)…. read more