The next step I am going to explore in developing a social marketing campaign is monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring is measurements you take before the end of your campaign. It can determine if mid course corrections need to occur to help with the success of your reaching your goals. Evaluation is a measurement that gives you the final results.
With both monitoring and evaluating you look to see if you have met your goals for the changes in knowledge, behaviors, and beliefs for your target audience. In the reading they talked about unintended consequences of the campaign that may have developed. This I think is a good thing to pay attention to, and I wonder if it is often overlooked due to evaluation focusing so much on statistics rather then qualitative feedback. I have researched a few campaigns that suffered lots of criticism because of the fear they induced. From earlier in my blog, when I was just starting to learn about public communication campaigns I wrote about the fear induced with the Milwaukee co sleeping /SIDS prevention campaign. The images above are a simplistic approach to scare parents into not co sleeping which in theory would decrease the SIDS rate in Milwaukee which had an abnormally high infant mortality rate. The campaign wanted to change knowledge, behavior, and beliefs through fear alone. The following link to this attachment parenting article, is a good example of unintended consequences. This article has some valid points that I would agree with as a NICU nurse who works with new parents. Some of the points that I agree with reiterates that there is more then just sleeping with your baby to be lazy, irresponsible, and dangerous. There are strong emotions, living situations, and cultural beliefs that make this issue like all public health issues a little tricky. I am sure that the health department was trying to reach a segment of the population in Milwaukee that had a high rate of SIDS, however the mass media billboard ads did not work well with all of the residents of Milwaukee, and even though it may have worked on some it just caused distrust and resentment towards the health department which is not good a good result in my opinion.
Monitoring and evaluation again occur at pre campaign, during the campaign, and post-campaign. All the measurements are important and worth the time and money. I found it interesting all the different ways to measure throughout these phases of the campaign. Non randomized control groups completing surveys before, during and after the campaign seemed an effective monitoring and evaluation tool to me. Qualitative surveys help understand subjective information about the campaign. I feel like the article I linked above with the Milwaukee co bedding campaign is an example qualitative feedback. I also thought records and databases would be a very useful indicator of effectiveness of a campaign. For example, with the Milwaukee co bedding campaign records and databases could show you many infants died from co bedding and SIDS before the campaign, during the campaign, and after the campaign. Just like we explored in the research step, the step of monitoring and evaluating is just as important as the creative strategies. It is also good to make your monitoring and evaluation plans before you plan your budget therefore allowing for enough funds to cover thorough and effective monitoring and evaluation.With the information from good research techniques and good evaluating techniques we can learn how to make our budgets go farther and to effectively help more people make beneficial behavior changes which will positively effect our world.