Rachel Ward, TCC Director of Health sent this report on the second and final day’s events:
“Underlying much of the talk and many of the presentations at the conference was a debate about what social marketing is, what it isn’t, what we think it should be, whether we think the commercial marketing language is useful or a hindrance, whether the concepts are too easily simplified.
“In particular Prof. Alan Andreason talked through his work on looking to reposition social marketing, Dr Craig Lefebvre talked about honouring people in our approach and not referring to them as targets.
“It’s a debate that any new field will go through – and some old fields continue to have even after hundreds of years of existence. And they are good questions to ask as we continue to evolve as a discipline (or a movement as SM has been referred to over the past two days). But, as Nancy Lee said yesterday morning, surely what matters is the impact – where’s the beef in what we’re doing?
“If we’re having an impact for good – making a dent in the universe and doing something that has soul (as Dr Lefebvre said in his keynote) – I’m not sure it matters all that much what banner it comes under or how we get there. The great thing is that we’re learning from each other – and from across the world – and if we continue to do that, we can only get better at what we do.”
TCC associate Nick Pecorelli added:
“I absolutely loved what Carol Bryant had to say. Amongst her roles she co-directs the Florida Prevention Research Centre at the University of South Florida. They develop and evaluate community based approaches to social marketing.
“Their method is to teach community groups to apply social marketing principles and practices so that they can design, implement, and evaluate public health programs and policies themselves. Each of the four projects they have helped establish is now self funded.
“What I particularly like about it is that by teaching communities to look at Return on Investment, and to conduct systematic insight, they are able to get them to identify projects that make sense rather than those that are demanded by a vocal minority, or even worse those that policy makers decide are a good idea.”
We understand that all the presentations from will be up on the WSM website in 7 days time and the keynote speeches have been recorded to appear online too.