Archive for March 29th, 2010

Fear and loathing….and public policy

March 29, 2010

The first major debate of the coming election was held tonight between the Chancellor of Exchequer and the opposition spokespersons.

One of the issues is how much the forthcoming election campaigns will play on fear – whether it is of change or of the status quo?

This is not just an issue for politicians. Often in public policy health campaigns may play on fear of ill-health to make a strong point.

However politicians and public health professionals need to think in nuanced ways about this.

Recent research that has just been reported by the British Psychological Society indicates that people’s level of fear may vary.

This again illustrates the need to segment the population through in-depth insight. Often this segmentation is done on the basis of how people have already behaved, which is of course useful. At the same time one can also now segment people through their values and attitudes to look at why they might behave the way they do.

Levels of pessimism as well as varying levels of fear may reflect differing views over fatalism as a result of differing values and outlooks on life.

This is something that politicians as well as public health professionals might therefore wish to look at in more depth, before committing themselves to any course of action.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer of the Campaign Company

UK Public Health Forum – wish you were here!

March 29, 2010

TCC were represented last week at the UK Public Health Association (UKPHA) Forum held by the seaside in Bournemouth last week.

TCC in conversation at the UKPHA

The Marmot Review, the General Election, and the Economic and Ecological crises were on the agenda

TCC took its “Engagement Kitchen” – a space specially designed to show how our health insight work is designed to make people feel comfortable in having a conversation. Conference attendees could bring over a coffee and have a chat with our experienced staff.

On the first day we asked people what they thought the biggest challenges facing the NHS in 2010.

On the second day we asked people what the Government’s Budget – announced the previous day – meant for them both professionally and personally.

There was also a TCC showreel of vox pops from previous health insight projects

And as a special treat TCC Project Officer Sophia Papadopoulos even demonstrated a few magic tricks!

TCC staff and those delegates attending thought the conference worthwhile and the TCC stall showed some good practice in the field of social marketing


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