iSMA News Desk

Managed by Julie Hentz and Nathaly Aya

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New Working Group Links Marketing and Biodiversity Conservation


Last year, a group of conservationists gathered at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, around a shared interest: the use of marketing to address biodiversity conservation issues. From this initial discussion emerged the Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group (ConsMark). The group would function within the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), a major professional network of conservationists with more than 5.000 members worldwide. The ConsMark defines conservation marketing as ‘the ethical application of marketing strategies concepts and techniques to influence attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of individuals, and ultimately societies, with the objective of advancing conservation goals.’ 

The ConsMark has several key objectives. One is to promote the use of scientifically-supported marketing techniques and strategies to tackle environmental issues. Another is to improve the attitude of conservation practitioners to the effective use of marketing techniques, as well as their access to these tools. To achieve these goals, the working group aims to facilitate training in marketing, and establish the trans-disciplines collaborations (e.g., with artists, musicians, comedians, film makers, and advertising agencies), necessary to successfully implement these efforts to maintain global biodiversity.

Working to push these news ideas towards reality, members of the working group came together for the first time in early August, at the 27th International Congress of Conservation Biology to discuss next steps and how to take our mission further. Since then, and in last month, we have developed an official online presence with a website and a mailing list (which is also open to non SCB members). 

We are now reaching out to all those interested in getting involved or knowing more about our work to connect with us either via the online platforms mentioned above or through Facebook and Twitter. If you would be interested in becoming a member or contributing to the group moving forward, please contact our membership secretary Emma McKinley at SCBConsMark AT


Diogo Veríssimo is a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow and Co-chair of the SCB Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group

Emma McKinley is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Chichester and is Membership Secretary of the SCB Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group.  

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 02:11 PM
Marketing Makes it to Montpellier

Last August, more than 2.000 conservationists from 90 countries gathered in Montpellier, France, for the 27th International Congress of Conservation Biology (ICCB). Organized by the Society for Conservation Biology, this was the largest biodiversity conservation meeting of the year, with more than 2.000 talks and poster presentations. Amongst the 60 Symposia accepted for this event, there was one innovation as far as social sciences were considered. This ICCB was the first to dedicate a Symposium to the use of marketing tools in biodiversity conservation. 

Human behaviour is the driver behind all major threats to the environment. Yet, influencing behaviour remains a major challenge for conservation professionals. Inspired by the increasing adoption of marketing principles in fields such as health, conservation professionals have recently started looking towards marketing techniques to help achieve their goals. However, many are still uneasy about relying on the same principles that are also used to sell ‘bad’ products such as cigarettes and alcohol. Moreover, some may feel that conservation ethic is powerful enough to drive change. However, the current extinction crisis suggests otherwise.

The Symposium brought together conservation academics and practitioners from both the commercial and non-profit sectors, to discuss the application of marketing in supporting conservation projects. Our goal was to reframe what marketing means in the context of conservation, away from the traditional commercial use and towards its adoption as a new path to more effective public engagement. Amongst the speakers was Christiane Lellig, a former ISMA Board Member, who presented on “The power of behaviour change - how to apply social marketing principles to conservation issues”. The Symposium also included amongst others, representatives from the NGOs, Rare and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the commercial advertising agency ZGM Collaborative Marketing and several UK and USA Universities. The topics covered were equally diverse, from wildlife trade and marine conservation, to the use of celebrity endorsements and fundraising for conservation.

The Symposium was very well attended, with the 140 seats available in the room not being enough to accommodate all interested attendees. More importantly, this event reveled a yet untapped interest in conservation and marketing. We hope this may be the first of many future marketing focused events at ICCBs!


Diogo Veríssimo, is a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow and co-organizer of the ICCB 2015 Symposium Conservation Marketing: a new path to understanding and influencing human behaviour, the Co-chair of the SCB Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group and one of the initial members of the European Social Marketing Association.

Emma McKinley is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Chichester and is Membership Secretary of the SCB Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group. 


Last Updated on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 02:09 PM
Help needed!

Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions at the iSMA. This provides a great opportunity to:

  • give back to the social marketing community;
  • grow your network
  • enhance your skills
  • strengthen the work the iSMA is doing

Positions are short or long term and are flexible to your personal needs and existing commitments.

Some of the current openings include:

  • Newsletter Editor / Production Manager - Worldwide
  • Newsletter Writers - Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America
  • Graphic Designers - Worldwide
  • Photographers - Worldwide
  • Photo Editors - Worldwide
  • Public Relations Specialists for the Regions of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America
  • Volunteer Co-ordination Assistants - Worldwide
  • Volunteer Attraction and Retention Assistants - Worldwide
  • Webinar Organizer and Host - North America Eastern Time Zone / UTC-5 
  • Webinar Technical Host - North America Eastern Time Zone /UTC-5

For more information please view the Jobs, iSMA Volunteer Opportunities tab on the iSMA website OR please email Claire at [email protected].

We look forward to hearing from you, and welcoming you to the iSMA volunteer network!


Volunteer Position filled!

Thanks go to Rajeeb Satyal for volunteering to assist in a special iSMA project. He will be assisting with the development of a guide: Organising your social marketing association.

We look forward to working with you! 

If you would like to volunteer, we would love to hear from you! Please view the Jobs, iSMA Volunteer Opportunities tab on the iSMA website OR please email Claire at [email protected].

Last Updated on Monday, August 24, 2015 09:45 AM
2015 SPARKS Conference - presentation proposals

Presented by the Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association (PNSMA)


The organizers of the 2015 Social Marketing SPARKS Conference invite proposals for presentations.

This year’s event will be held Monday, December 14, 2015 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle Washington.

We are looking for enthusiastic presenters that can share ideas and innovations in Social Marketing.  What have you done that has pushed the envelope? What is the next horizon in social marketing? What new ideas or innovations would you like to share with other social marketers?

Proposals for presentations are due Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Presentations should:

· Describe innovations or ideas related to social marketing and influencing behavior.
· Focus on a single key insight. Strive to share that “ah-ha!” moment.
· Highlight tangible results. Use real-world examples.
· Emphasize efforts that lead to systemic change.
· Focus on:
- behavior change related to public health, injury prevention, environmental health, or community wellbeing, or
- advanced theory in influencing behavior.
· Be captivating and engaging for the audience. Presentations should be TED/TEDx styled talks.  They should be entertaining as well as informative. This is not your standard conference presentation! .

Presentations should not:

· Present detailed case studies.
· Describe ongoing activities.
· Promote a business, organization, product, or service.
· Use a lot of slides.
· Focus on social media, advertising, or general outreach (remember, Social Marketing is about influencing behaviors for good).

Presentations may be between 10 and 18 minutes long.  There will be no podium.  Expect to present from a stage with theatre lighting. Slides are discouraged; however a few slides with compelling visuals and minimal words to illustrate your point are acceptable.  Multi-media presentations are acceptable and are subject to the technology limitations of the venue.

If you have presented at SPARKS in the past, you may be considered as a speaker provided your presentation topic is new.


· Speaker contact information including name, title, affiliation, email address, daytime phone, and mailing address.
· The title of your presentation.
· A presentation abstract of not more than 200 words.
· A one-sentence statement describing the key point or theme of your presentation – your key insight or “ah-ha” moment.
· The category in which your presentation best fits:
  • Public health
  • Injury prevention
  • Environmental health and protection
  • Community wellbeing
  • Advanced Theory and Methodologies in influencing behavior

Email your proposal to Dave Ward at ([email protected]).  Include the above information in the body of your email. Do not include attachments. Proposals are due Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Selected speakers will be notified by October 1, 2015.


Last Updated on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 11:01 AM
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