The World Social Marketing Conference is Just a Little Over Two Weeks Away! Here Are Some Features…
Written by Julie Hentz   

The finishing touches have been placed on The World Social Marketing Conference at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Washington D.C. on May 16th and 17th and we are ready for show time! For the over 460+ registrants, here are some highlights…

Access to a Mentor:

Have you ever wished to have easy access to a mentor? Well, here is your chance! WSMC will be offering mentoring during the second day of the conference, an opportunity to work with someone who can respond to framework questions and help you through a behaviour change quagmire.

Interested in Panel Discussions?

16th May 

The Soda Wars: Lessons learned from 30+ years of tobacco advocacy.

Chaired by: Chris PalmedoAssociate Professor of Media, Marketing and Communications, City University of New York

  • Exploring the “pages taken out of the playbook of big tobacco.” This includes funding academic institutions, community investments, deceptive messaging and government relations including Stan Glanz’s recent Harvard expose.
  • Identifying the viability of countermarketing and counter-advertising strategies. 
  • Exploring strategies for messaging and framing.
  • Discussing specific challenges with food that may not correspond with tobacco (i.e. everyone eats, but not everyone smokes).


  • Danny McGoldrick, Vice President, Global Health Advocacy Incubator at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Becky Freeman, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, School of Public Health, The University of Sydney
  • Lucy Popova, Assistant Professor, Health Promotion & Behaviour, Georgia State University


Commissioners in Conversation

This panel will be made up or representatives of organisations who fund social marketing programmes and projects. The aim of the panel is to provide insights into the needs of those organisations and agencies who commission the development, delivery and evaluate social marketing programmes and projects. The panel will focus on how mutually positive relationships can be established and maintained between those commissioning / funding programmes and those responsible for delivery. The session will be practical in nature focusing on what to do and what not to do to enhance the probability of successful applications, how to agree programme delivery targets and how to manage the ongoing relationship between funder and provider.

Chair: Jacqueline Devine, World Bank


  • Dr. John Lumpkin, Senior Vice President – Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Rafael Obregon, Chief of the Communication for Development Section, UNICEF
  • Anton Schneider, Senior Social and Behavior Change Advisor, Bureau for Global Health, Office of Infectious Disease, USAID

17th May

Climate change, clean energy & energy conservation: Social marketing for our climate

This session will present several key ideas, and illustrate with several innovative programs, all intended to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and/or help target audiences better understand and act on climate risks.

Chaired by: Ed Maibach, George Mason Univ. Center for Climate Change Communication


  • Doug McKenzie-Mohr, McKenzie-Mohr Associates
  • June Flora, Solutions Science Lab, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University
  • Midori Aoyagi, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

And There Are Workshops:

16th May

Innovating measurement methods for a global public health programme United for Healthier Kids 
This workshop will address challenges and approaches in programme evaluation methods.

Paper type: Developmental / Experiential

Presenters: Adam Drewnowski PhD. Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Petra Klassen Wigger PhD. Scientific Advisor, Corporate Nutrition, Health & Wellness Unit, Nestlé, Zoe Healey PhD. Head of Scientific Strategy, EU, inVentiv Health


Communication Without Borders: Why HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages Increasingly Incorporate New Media

This interactive session explores ways HIV/AIDS interventions can most effectively exploit the benefits of both “old” and “new” media tools.

Paper type: Developmental / Experiential

Presenter: Dr. Ruth Massingill, associate professor, Sam Houston State University


17th May

Join a mini development sprint: Transforming who controls health care at the end of life

There are many things we lose as we grow older. Control over our healthcare should not be one of them. In this session, participants take part in a short development sprint to inform the dissemination and adoption of two products aimed at empowering patients at the end of life. After $1.5 million of research and prototyping with patients, doctors, caregivers and families, the two patient empowerment products are developed and ready. The challenge now: Embedding these products in the health care system. Join this 40-minute interactive session not just to listen, but to be a part of a development sprint that produces possible solutions.

Conference track: Developmental / Experiential

Facilitators: Peter Mitchell, Chairman and CEO, Salter>Mitchell | Marketing for Change; Meisha Thigpen, Associate Creative Director, Salter>Mitchell | Marketing for Change

Just a few of many activities of which to take advantage at WSMC.Please visit with the many exhibitors as well. They provide useful resources. See you soon and safe travels!