iSMA News Desk

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Written by Winthrop Morgan   

Nancy Lee, with support from members of the social marketing community, has been working to establish an understanding of the differences between social marketing and social media and most importantly to clarify social marketing as a discipline. The discipline has made 
enormous strides since its distinction in the early 1970s, and has had a profound positive impact on social issues in the areas of public health, injury prevention, the environment, community involvement, and more recently, financial well-being.

        Social Marketing as a term, however, is still a mystery to most, misunderstood by many, and increasingly confused with other terms such as behavioral economics (a framework that inspires strategies), and social media (one of many promotional tactics to choose from).

        Some have proposed a “name change” to solve the problem (e.g., social change, social change marketing), but the benefits of keeping and strengthening this brand name outweigh the costs.  We have two internationally recognized Journals:  Social Marketing Quarterly and Journal of Social Marketing. We have four professional associations: International Social Marketing Association, European Social Marketing Association, Australian Social Marketing Association, Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association, with the North American Social Marketing Association currently being formed.  There are also academic degrees, courses, certificate programs and conferences worldwide using the title Social Marketing.

The following (brief) Creative Brief is to inform the development of a visual image to “accompany” the brand name Social Marketing and the tagline “Changing Behaviors for Good.”


The visual image should assist in communicating, at a glance, what Social Marketing is, and should be a “visual hammer” for the “verbal nail.” Our inspiration is the graphic used for the book Nudge:

ISMA Welcomes New Board Members

ISMA is happy to share the news that three new members, all with long-time commitments to the social marketing processes of behavior change, have joined the ranks of board member.

We welcome Sameer Deshpande, PhD, who is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Lethbridge, Canada. Over past 15 years, Sameer has taught, published, reviewed (on the editorial board of Journal of Social Marketing and Social Marketing Quarterly), and trained and consulted with government and non-profit organizations in India, Canada, Australia, and U.S.; he is thus emerging as one of the leaders of the next generation of social marketers. Sameer will popularize the network among professionals in South Asia and market the social marketing framework to a wide audience in the West, to enable iSMA to achieve its objectives. We welcome Judy Drennan, PhD, a professor of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia and a founding member of the Australian Association of Social Marketing (AASM).  Judy has been involved in developing the social marketing discipline in Australia for the last decade and through the AASM, which includes both a scholarly and practical community, has been providing international social marketing insights and knowledge sharing.  Through her expertise in social marketing, her links with Australian industry, Government and international researchers, and PhD supervisions in social marketing, Judy will provide a unique Australian perspective to the ISMA and will build strong collaboration between the AASM and ISMA. And we welcome Doug McKenzie-Mohr, PhD, a Professor of Psychology at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, Canada. Doug has spent his career advocating for the application of social marketing knowledge to the design of environmental programs by serving as chair of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Sustainable Development, as coordinator of the international organization Holis - The Society for a Sustainable Future, as a member of Canada's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and as a member of the National Advisory Committee for SustainABILITY. He has been awarded the Canadian Psychological Association's Psychologists for Social Responsibility Research and Social Action Award and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Public Advocacy Fellowship. Doug has delivered programs on community-based social marketing for more than 15,000 professionals in fields including recycling, waste reduction, pollution prevention, energy and water efficiency, transportation, watershed protection, and soil conservation. He will be an important liaison for ISMA to the environmental social marketing sector. Sameer, Judy, and Doug join the existing ISMA board members who include Win Morgan, Nancy Lee, Tom Beall, Jay Kassirer, Craig Lefebvre, Gael O’Sullivan, Katherine Lyon Daniel, Jeff French, Christiane Leilig, Barry Whittle and Bob Marshall.

Following the “welcoming” theme is news for ISMA of the official designation of 501(c)3 status, granted by the Internal Revenue Service.  That means that ISMA is now considered a non-profit organization and can apply for grant funding, in addition to other perks. Other activities by the ISMA board and Communication Committee include news that the ISMA Webinar series has been successful in attracting many interested member attendees.  The board is working to develop 12 core competencies of social marketing. There are efforts underway to introduce the social marketing competencies into public health practice and education. A social media policy has been developed as a means to engage a greater audience with the ISMA website. It is currently under review in advance of approval and implementation. The board will meet again within the next few weeks to push forward on these topics and other business.

Last Updated on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:02 PM
Social Marketing Imagery, 1000 Words of Need and Triumph

Malaria Nets, "Come to Safety" Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins


An image can say so much and in social marketing, it can go a long way to uncover a social or environmental challenge, or to speak to the efforts of social marketers as they address their diverse projects in public health, the environment, education, and other areas.
The International Social Marketing Association (ISMA) is initiating the development of a repository of images to use on the ISMA website as a means to reflect the scope of “change for good” with which social marketers around the world are involved. In addition to visual stories on the web, some images might lend themselves to a Pinterest composition to accompany an important social marketing message.  Often the most simple of messages, matched with the right image, can create a very powerful and memorable impact.

Malaria Nets. "Come to Safety"  Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins' Photoshare

This is a request for images from our members and visitors to engage with us and share a visual of a Social Marketing project you are working on, maybe one that needs attention, or perhaps a triumph you have had with a recent project. Put your artistic imagery skills to work, even with that iphone or tablet, and create a visual story that will most certainly resonate with your colleagues.

Please send your images to: [email protected].  I will provide you with an ISMA release form request. The photos will be archived and managed through ISMA and used with discretion by ISMA and immediate partners only.

Let’s begin our visual conversation about Social Marketing now. We’d love to hear from you.

2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker
Written by Win Morgan   

2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45%) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

Download the full press release and fact sheet (PDF, 1,680 KB).

More Research, You Say? Introducing ResearchGate

What social marketer doesn’t want more effective research sources? And the key word here is “social”, as in social networking.  The online space called “ResearchGate” is an international social networking site for researchers. Think Facebook for those seeking access to and the sharing of research within their areas of discipline.

The landscape of ResearchGate participants is diverse. If related public health research is what you’re looking for, find 427,550 medical participants sharing their 7,973,228 articles, or maybe 356,083 members in the biological field sharing 9,183,389 articles. That’s not all though, there are many other scientific and social disciplines represented including anthropology, social science, religious studies, psychology, chemistry, and design science.

Last Updated on Tuesday, April 09, 2013 02:41 PM
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