Ron Smith's Teaching Notes on ...
Updated Spring 2016 as a supplement to Professor Smith's textbooks
Strategic Planning for Public Relations and Becoming a Public Relations Writer, (Routledge/Taylor and Francis).
Aspects of public relations, advertising, and marketing are being jointly applied to many social issues and causes under the banner of Social Marketing, sometimes called Cause Marketing. This is a planned process to influence change via communication and relationships. It is a conscious attempt to integrate strategic communication processes and tools to promote ideas, issues, and concerns, in much the same way that organizations traditionally have promoted products and servicdes.
"The design, implementaion, and control of programs seeking to increase the acceptability of a social idea or practice in a target group." Definition by Philip Kotler, the "father" of social marketing. From Kotler, Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (1975)
Positive v/ negative message (i.e. fear appeal)
Partnerships, alliances & coalitions
A cause is a desirable social objective.
A campaign is an organized effort conducted by organization/group/alliance (change agent) that intends to persuade others (target public/adopters) to accept, modify or abandon certain ideas, attitudes, practices or behaviors (change strategy)
Public Education v/ Social Marketing
Public education focuses on a awareness, providing information about an issue or on a theme
Social marketing or social change deals with behavior (awareness, acceptance, and action) for the purpose of social change
The ultimate objective of social marketing is to affect behavior
Abolish debtor prison (England during the Industrial Revolution)
Abolition of slavery in US
McGruff, the crime-fighting dog
Nutrition, fitness & dieting
Favorable Ingredients for Social Marketing
Media monopoly or media access (no contrary messages)
Reinforcement of pre-existing attitudes
Interpersonal supplement to mass media
Difference Between Social Marketing & Product Marketing
Marketing acceptable in commercial transaction; not always in public sector
Cost not always in dollar terms
Political dimension usually is present in social marketing, including opposition
Product/service use/avoidance often not desired by target public
Marketing efforts toward both clients & funding sources
Increased demand not always desirable; resources may be scarce
Social change campaigns often fail because...
Hard core of "chronic know-nothings" who cannot be reached
Audience apathy (interest must predate response)
Audiences do not believe the benefit outweighs the "cost of adoption"
Selectivity (avoiding disagreeable info)
Selectivity (interpretation based on bias)
Inappropriate media mix
Campaign fails to take into account the existence of competition, opposition and alternatives
Behavior targeted for change often rooted in culture, family, religion, ethnicity and other traditions
Theory Base for Social Marketing
Though there are many examples throughout history of persuasive campaigns toward social goals, the discipline of social marketing is attributed to Philip Kotler who, with Gerald Zaltman, articulated the concept in the 1970s.
Books by Philip Kotler
Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
Social Marketing: Strategies for Changing Public Behavior
Social Marketing: Improving the Quality of Life