How can we make it work- Looking at effective ways to communicate behavior change with social marketing

With my MPH and my nursing background, I hope to become more involved with Global health, or health communication in developing countries. While looking through the Ted Talks and other examples of health campaigns in developing countries, I came up on this Ted talk with Melissa Gates.  It is worth a watch I really liked some points I want to discuss in this blog.

I like that she uses the success of Coca Cola making it to these small villages all over the world , even though the product itself is not the best for you, and something to look at with social marketing. How can we make the behavior change that we are trying to educate and assist these developing countries as successful as the product of Coca Cola in their country? I think the concept really supports what we have read and discussed in class. Some things she mentioned is that Coca Cola markets specifically to each area. This supports situation analysis, and research of the audience you are wanting to reach in your communication campaign.  Identifying factors influencing behavior and adoption of new behavior is key to marketing a behavior as much as it is to a product like Coca Cola.

Next she talks about educating and empowering the motivated, entrepreneur types within the community. I feel that this is key to change. The community will respond so much faster and more whole wholeheartedly if  the information is distributed to them by people they relate to, and who maybe inspire them. I think that all comes back to finding the correct product, meaning one that is practical and understandable to the community. It also focuses on the correct place by educating community members to be the provider of the product. Price is also mentioned in the way the communication campaign and product is advertised needs to promote benefits in a manner that is understandable to the community. Promotion again is educating community members on the distributing the messages and even providing the education and services to the community.

The next Ted talk I found inspiring in regards to effective social marketing is about looking at decreasing high blood pressure/heart disease through barber shops that men use regularly.

Joseph Ravenell is a physician who is inspired by campaigns like Project Brotherhood, which again like the above Ted talk is about focusing on  places that the target audience uses on a regular bases. This in theory promotes familiarity and safety to open up discussions and then to deliver education of behavior changes. Joseph as a physician has seen an improvement in black mens heart health just by having health care workers go to on a regular basis their social hubs in their communities.  Again this talk is about empowering communities to address their own health inequities. As a nurse this is a position I am a participant everyday at work. I help those who deliver premature and ill infants in my community learn how to succeed in the best possible manner the situation they have been given. I interact with families of all different ethnicity and socioeconomic levels and I have learned from experience that in order for  my education to be effective I must educate myself on their learning styles, resources, and perceptions as much as I can.

My list of Ted talks and documentaries could go on and on. It is an exciting time in public health and health care. Innovation and  positive change I believe is going to happen in our global world. I may be an optimist, but someone has to believe that their are effective solutions for problems.


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