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FOSTERING COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT based on the work by McKenzie-Mohr D. and Smith W. 1999. Foster Sustainable Behavior– An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island B.C., Canada. Module 26, part A – Program Development. Objectives.

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module 26 part a program development

FOSTERING COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORTbased on the work by McKenzie-Mohr D. and Smith W. 1999. Foster Sustainable Behavior– An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island B.C., Canada.

Module 26, part A – Program Development


Students will be able to:

  • compare and contrast conventional social marketing and community based social marketing.
  • describe the relationship between education and behavior.
  • evaluate the role of advertising in promoting awareness and behavior change.
  • describe methods used to identify barriers to behavior change.
  • describe behavior change tools that are used to design programs to foster community involvement and support.
lecture outline
Lecture Outline
  • Why foster community involvement?
  • Conventional outreach - does it change behavior or just increase awareness?
  • Community based social marketing
    • identifying barriers
    • design program using behavior change tools
    • pilot program
    • implementation and evaluation
why foster community involvement
Why foster community involvement?
  • To provide a mechanism for changing behaviors.
  • Behaviors include the actions we take day-to-day in regard or disregard to natural resources.
    • Recycling vs. creating landfills
    • Landscaping with native plants vs. lawn chemicals for just “grass”
    • Greater area of rooftops, driveways, streets, parking vs. less hard surface and more infiltration
is it knowledge or behavior change
Is it knowledge or behavior change?
  • Does education provide the stimulus needed to foster a change in behavior?
    • community-based social marketing has explored this question and argues that it does not
conventional versus community based social marketing
Conventional versus community-based social marketing
  • Conventional social marketing
    • relies heavily on media advertising
    • can be effective in creating public awareness and understanding of issues
    • does not foster change
  • Community-based social marketing
    • initiatives promote behavior change.
    • most effective when carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people.
    • draws heavily on research in social psychology.
studies show education has little or no effect on behavior change
Studies show education has little or no effect on behavior change
  • 6-day environmental issues workshop for high school found them to be no more likely to have engaged in pro-environmental actions 2 months later (Jordan et al).
  • 10-week water use study where households received detailed methods for conserving water in the home found to have no impact upon consumption (Geller et al).
what effects behavior
What effects behavior?
  • While environmental attitudes and knowledge have been found to be related to behavior, frequently the relationship is weak or nonexistent.
  • A variety of barriers can deter individuals from engaging in a sustainable behavior
    • For example, you may be supportive of composting and relatively knowledgeable of what to do, but the inconvenience walking out to the compost bin in the dead cold of winter alone can moderate your behavior that inhibits the practice.
value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change
Value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change?
  • The failure of mass media campaigns to foster sustainable behavior is due in part to the poor design of the messages, but more importantly to an underestimation of the difficulty of changing behavior. (Costanza, 1986)
value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change1

Where to Insulate - Adding insulation in the areas shown here may be the best way to improve your home's energy efficiency.

Value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change?
  • Advertising is often an extremely expensive way of reaching people. In one case, a California utility spent more money on advertising the benefits of installing insulation in low-income housing than it would have cost to upgrade the insulation in the targeted houses. (Pope, 1982)
value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change2
Value of advertising to promote awareness or behavior change?
  • Altering consumer preferences involves altering an existing behavior not creating new ones.
  • For example, encouraging individuals to engage in a new activity, such as walking or biking to work, is much more complex.
    • A variety of barriers exist, such as concerns over time, safety, weather, and convenience.
    • The diversity of barriers which exist for an activity means that information campaigns alone will rarely bring about behavior change.
behavior change tools
Behavior change tools
  • Social science research has identified a variety of "tools" that are effective in changing behavior.
  • Techniques used are carried out at the community level.
  • Frequently involve direct personal contact.
community based social marketing
Community-based social marketing
  • An attractive alternative to information intensive campaigns.
  • Approach involves:
    • identifying barriers
    • design program using behavior change tools
    • pilot program
    • implementation and evaluation
identifying barriers
Identifying barriers
  • Each form of sustainable behavior has its own set of barriers and benefits.
  • 3-step process to identify barriers:
    • Conduct literature review
    • Conduct focus groups to explore in-depth attitudes and behaviors of community residents regarding the activity.
    • Conduct a phone survey with a random sample of residents that builds on the information obtained from the focus groups.
literature review
Literature Review
  • Be clear on your mandate.
  • Four sources of information to tap into
    • Trade magazines and newsletters.
    • Reports written on the topic by other communities.
    • Search the databases of your local university for related academic articles.
    • Call the authors of studies of particular interest.
focus groups
Focus Groups
  • Explore identified issues further with residents of your community through focus groups.
  • Focus groups provide an opportunity to discuss in-depth the perceptions and present behaviors of community residents relevant to the activity you are planning to promote.
phone survey
Phone Survey
  • Phone surveys further refined information upon which to base a social marketing plan.
  • Phone surveys have several advantages over mailed surveys and person-to-person interviews.
    • higher response rates
    • more accurate assessment of current attitudes and behavior.
    • opportunity to get a refusal survey consisting of three to four questions that are found in the complete survey.
    • random-digit dialing (cell phones impact this however).
    • access to otherwise difficult-to-reach populations
what do barriers help define
What do barriers help define?
  • Goals - general statements that express the broad focus of the entire outreach effort
  • Objectives - developed to achieve a goal. They are specific, measurable, action-oriented, and time focused.
  • Target audience - group of people you want to reach with your message and whose barriers are most similar.
design program using behavior change tools
Design program using behavior change tools
  • Tools for design strategies include:
    • commitment
    • prompts
    • norms
    • communication
    • incentives
    • convenience
commitment intention to action
Commitment: intention to action
  • Agreeing to a small request leads people to subsequently agree to a much larger one? Note the following example:
    • A sample of registered voters were approached one day prior to a U.S. presidential election and asked: "Do you expect you will vote or not?" All agreed that they would vote. Relative to voters who were not asked this simple question, their likelihood of voting increased by 41% (Greenwald, A.G. et al).
commitment intention to action1
Commitment: intention to action
  • Placement of this sticker in a window not only enhanced commitment to waste reduction, but also served to build community norms for waste reduction.
prompts remembering to act
Prompts: remembering to act
  • A prompt is a visual or auditory aid which reminds us to carry out an activity that we might otherwise forget.
  • Purpose is not to change attitudes or increase motivation, but simply to remind us to engage in an action that we are already predisposed to do.
  • Studies support the notion that to be effective, a prompt should be delivered as close in space and time as possible to the target behavior.
prompts remembering to act1
Prompts: remembering to act
  • This decal makes it easy for residents to identify what items are recyclable.
  • Substantial advantages over flyers
    • cannot be lost or misplaced
    • provide information on what can be recycled directly on the container itself.
norms building community support
Norms: building community support
  • Studies have shown that people have been found to alter their answers to be in line with the norm of answers, even if these people are clearly incorrect.
  • People looked to the behavior of those around them to determine how they would respond.
  • People play an important role upon our own behavior.
  • To date, too little attention has been given to the significant impact that norms can have upon the adoption of sustainable behavior.
norms building community support1
Norms: building community support
  • Residents of Annapolis, Nova Scotia were asked if they composted. Those who composted were asked if they would place this sticker on their garbage or recycling container.
  • Helped enhance household commitment to recycling, develop community norms that supported composting, and prompt personal conversations regarding composting.
communication effective messages
Communication: effective messages
  • Much of human communication involves persuasion.
  • Aim is to influence our attitudes and/or our behavior.
  • Capture attention by presenting information that is vivid, concrete and personalized.
incentives enhancing motivation
Incentives: enhancing motivation
  • Incentives (i.e., financial, social approval), can provide the motivation for individuals to perform an activity that they already engage in more effectively, such as recycling, or to begin an activity that they otherwise would not perform, such as composting.
  • The introduction of bottle deposits has been associated with a 68% reduction in litter in Oregon, a 76% reduction in Vermont, and an 82% reduction in Michigan (Institute of Applied Research, 1980).
convenience making it easy to act
Convenience: making it easy to act
  • No matter the tools in place, if you have not overcome the barriers, the work will be in vain.
  • Strategies for removing barriers will have to be tailored to each situation.
  • Identify barriers and seek information from other communities on how they have dealt with the barriers identified.
  • Determine if resources are available to implement similar initiatives. If not, seriously reconsider options.
  • Community-based social marketing initiatives that ignore external barriers is a recipe for failure.
pilot program
Pilot program
  • A “test run" serving as an opportunity to work out the "bugs" before committing to carrying out a strategy across a community.
  • Allows a program to be refined until it is effective.
  • Allows alternative methods for carrying out a project to be tested against one another and the most cost-effective method to be determined.
  • A crucial step in demonstrating to funders the worthiness of implementing a program on a broad scale.
implementation and evaluation
Implementation and evaluation
  • On-going evaluation of a program once it has been implemented in a community.
  • Emphasizes the direct measurement of behavior change over less direct measures such as self reports or increases in awareness.
  • Used to further refine the marketing strategy as well as provide evidence that a project should receive further funding.
  • McKenzie-Mohr D. and Smith W. 1999. Foster Sustainable Behavior – An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island B.C., Canada
  • McKenzie-Mohr & Associates. Guidebook on Foster Sustainable Behavior.