iSMA News Desk

Managed by Julie Hentz and Nathaly Aya

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Call for Abstracts:
The 24th Social Marketing Conference and Training Academy
Training Academy: Wednesday & Thursday, June 15-16, 2016
Main Conference: Friday & Saturday, June 17-18, 2016
Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL

Abstract Submission Deadline – February 5, 2016  

In recent years social marketing has been successfully used in many fields including public health, healthcare, environmental studies, engineering, education, and not-for-profit management. We welcome submissions from all of these fields, and any we’ve missed! We invite abstract submissions to be considered for oral presentations and posters. The content should demonstrate the application of social marketing strategies to behavior change, service marketing, or improvement of practice. Abstracts may describe social marketing programs, innovative research methods, and theoretical advances. Reviewers favor abstracts on completed projects that clearly illustrate key elements of the social marketing approach:

  • How formative research is used to make marketing decisions.
  • Description of audience segmentation methods and results.
  • Evaluations of comprehensive marketing programs.

Applications of social marketing strategies that address national and international social objectives, promote social marketing within one’s own agency, demonstrate sustainability and/or self-sufficiency of social marketing programs, or use innovative methods to understand consumer needs and wants are of particular interest.

Other suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of social marketing to ameliorate social problems and issues of special populations;
  • Evaluation of social marketing programs and strategies;
  • Social marketing approaches to define health problems and inequities;
  • Testing solutions to public health and other community problems;
  • Changing health and social practices in school and community settings, and;
  • Training and education in social marketing.

More information about the conference, Training Academy and abstract submission guidelines are available at:


Change for Good Crash Course

If you work in the public or social sector, you are likely charged with the massive task of tackling complex problems with minuscule resources and a vague directive to make a difference. The social marketing process can focus and streamline your efforts, saving you time and money, by offering a systematic approach that incorporates insights from behavioral science and the business world.

The Change for Good Crash Course is a unique online training that gives you the knowledge and skills you need to design an effective social marketing strategy for your program. The web-based format allows you to progress at your own speed, quickly gaining an understanding of how social marketing works and taking the time you need to apply the lessons to your own issue.

Since 1995, Social Marketing University® founder Nedra Weinreich has trained thousands of professionals and students in the strategy and implementation of social marketing programs. The Change for Good Crash Course is a distillation of her in-person trainings, with hands-on exercises that will together form the core of your program's strategy.

There is a limited number of scholarships, with priority given to students, people who are unemployed and people living in developing countries.

Click here for more information.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 04:01 PM
An opportunity to assist the iSMA on special projects

There are a number of special projects currently underway by the iSMA, which will help to enrich the iSMA experience and provide members with more membership value.

If you would like to be a part of these varied and exciting projects, please let us know.

Some of the benefits of volunteering include:

  • engaging with a global network
  • learning from others’ experiences and projects
  • contributing to an enriched social marketing experience
  • gaining volunteer experience that is aligned with your career

We require volunteers a varied skill set and from around the globe. If you would like to know more, 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!

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 07:08 AM
About the Executive Order PDF Print Email

R. Craig Lefebvre, PhD

Follow on Twitter @chiefmaven

The Executive Order urging Federal departments and agencies to apply behavioral insights to improve their programs’ outcomes, cost effectiveness and positive impact on public welfare is long overdue. Wrestling control of many of these program decisions from people more attuned to meting out regulations, penalties and incentives will not be an easy journey. But it is one that must be taken as the evidence accumulates that many of our wicked social and health puzzles have at their core a requirement to help people learn new behaviors (or ‘change them’ in the command-and-control vernacular).

Coping with the many challenges confronting our country and world requires, just like with individuals under stress, the development of new ways of coping with them. Economic and policy initiatives are only partial solutions to issues as diverse as safer neighborhoods, childhood obesity and poverty. Education and information campaigns only go so far in reducing the use of tobacco products, increasing the use of preventive health services and engaging parents in their children’s education. Laws and regulations improve the safety of our food supply, reduce environmental pollutants and protect against unintentional injuries involving all types of consumer products – yet they too are only partial solutions. These challenges also need more than the now weary ‘nudges’ that the Executive Order references numerous times.

The use of behavioral insights generated through marketing principles and practices have been demonstrated to be among the most important sources of success in the analysis, planning, implementation and sustainability of programs aimed at social problems. Social marketing, the application of the marketing discipline to social issues and causes, provides a complimentary framework for developing innovative solutions to social problems that have long perplexed and frustrated us. It has emerged from business marketing practice as a social change tool uniquely suited to achieve social profits by designing integrated programs that meet individual needs for moving out of poverty, enabling health, improving social conditions and having a safe and clean environment. There are three key insights of this approach that government agencies, and indeed nonprofit and corporate sponsors of social good programs, should also be encouraged to adopt.

 (1) There must be a set of integrated activities that analyze, design for, implement and evaluate programs that specifically address (1) products, services and behaviors that will improve individual and social well-being; (2) realign incentives and costs to facilitate behaviors for the individual and social good; (3) create opportunities and improve access to beneficial products, services and places that encourage and support behavior change; and (4) employ state-of-the-science communication strategies and tools to promote and support positive change at all levels of society - individuals, families and other social networks, organizations and communities.

(2) Programs should be audience-centric; that is, based on understanding the people to be served by the program, having insights into how they perceive the problem and possible solutions in the context of their everyday lives, and engaging them to be co-creators and eventual owners of relevant solutions.

(3) Audience engagement, from who is sitting at the policy table to who is sitting across from a teacher, is both a core value and outcome for success. It becomes part of a common framework for understanding and implementing programs with population-wide benefits.

I know that in some quarters marketing as practiced in the commercial sector is sharply criticized. Yet marketing as it can be thought about and practiced for social change is a step beyond insights and nudges to achieve the goals of a healthier, more productive and fulfilling life for all Americans.


United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015
Written by Nathaly Aya Pastrana   


The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit took place from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York, where 193 Member States of the United Nations reached consensus on the outcome document of a new sustainable development agenda entitled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.  

“Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The Agenda, containing 17 goals and 169 targets, will provide a roadmap for the next 15 years and will focus on the three interconnected elements of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. Attaining these goals and targets requires active participation and concerted efforts from every stakeholder of society, including social marketers, who could contribute by developing and integrating marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors in areas of critical importance: people, planet, prosperity and partnership. 

The previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that were launched in 2000 and set until the year 2015, were focused primarily on the social agenda and targeted developing countries, particularly the poorest. Building on their success, the SDGs will apply to the entire world, developed and developing countries, and will address inequalities, economic growth, decent jobs, cities and human settlements, industrialization, energy, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, peace and justice.

The progress of the SDGs will be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators that will be complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels, which will be developed by Member States.  Furthering, the Sustainable Development Goals are expected to start on 1 January 2016 and to be achieved by 31 December 2030. However, some targets that build on pre-set international agreements are expected to be achieved earlier than the end of 2030.

What is the role of social marketers from the perspective of the new global agenda for sustainable development?. Share your thoughts and ideas on our online conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @isma_org .



Visit Summit Website 

Sustainable Development Goals Fact Sheet

The complete list of goals and targets

The outcome document  

Last Updated on Sunday, September 27, 2015 02:42 PM
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