Patrick Cook, President iSMA

As the calendar rolls over the next year, I wanted to update our individual and regional association members on the work of your Board. For an all-volunteer Board, we continue to make remarkable strides in remaking the iSMA so it can help all of us pursue our vision: “envisioning a world in which social marketing is a widely valued and utilized approach to improving individual and social well-being.” Over the past year, as we have:

  • Secured new and improved member benefits with important resources for our community, including free online access to the Social Marketing Quarterly and reduced registration for the World Social Marketing Conference. 
  • Held our second annual general meeting in June, 2019, as part of the World Social Marketing Conference in Edinburgh, UK. 
  • Hosted elections where two new Board members, Carlos Oliveira Santos (Portugal) and Leonidas Skerletopoulos (Greece), and two incumbent board members (Jennifer Wayman and myself), were elected for a three-year term.
  • Hosted 3 webinars, exploring topics from design thinking in planning social marketing campaigns to exploring the intersection of multistream social marketing campaigns and social enterprises. 
  • Initiated development of our consolidated membership database so it will be much easier for individuals and organizations to join both their regional association and automatically receive membership in the iSMA. 
  • Welcomed the success of the Latin American Social Marketing Association (LAMSO) launch its inaugural website (see here) and start process of building a regional association to represent our colleagues across Latin America. 
  • Continued to play a key role in the Global Alliance for Social and Behaviour Change: Building Informed and Engaged Societies, a UNICEF-led initiative working to embed behavior and social change into all the programs funded by UN organizations and other bi- and multilateral funders being guided by the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Welcomed Christene Jennings, Carlos Santos, and Leonidas Skerletopoulos as our new webinar manager, volunteer coordinator, and membership chair respectively. We also thanked Jay Kassirer for his many long years of service in multiple roles on the iSMA Board. 

Looking forward in 2020, we have much to do. For each step, we look for your input and suggestions. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up: 

  • Our 2019 Member Survey is currently open. Please take a moment to complete. Your perspectives help define member offerings moving forward.
  • Launch of our new iSMA website, coming in early 2020, with a responsive design, better usability, and more resources and support. 
  • Development of an exciting new featured benefit for social marketers around the world – a 12-session online training course developed by veteran social marketer, Nancy Lee, that will provide participants with a social marketing certificate.
  • Opportunities for organizations, as well as individuals, to join our community of professional social marketers, making it easier to receive support for being a part of a professional community. 
  • Collaboration with ethics group, Social Marketing Ethics Expert Panel (SMEEP) on social marketing code of ethics

And there is so much more. I hope you will take a moment to read the other articles in this newsletter and in all of our bi-monthly newsletters throughout 2020 which relate the amazing work of our member association and colleagues practicing social marketing around the world. And, at any time on any topic, I invite you to send us your thoughts and recommendations at [email protected].