Social Marketing to Prevent Sexual Violence
Last week I spoke about using social marketing to advance sexual violence prevention at the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence’s first Rape Prevention & Education Institute. Over 50 prevention educators gathered to this two day institute that also included presentations from Tammy Lemmer of the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Rus Funk of Menswork, andDorothy Edwards of the University of Kentucky.
This is one of the many workshops I have given on social marketing over the last few years, including presentations for the US Army’s campaign to prevent sexual violence, Missouri Foundation for Health and many sexual assault and domestic violence coalitions.
I consider social marketing to be a valuable approach to ask the proper questions to develop a comprehensive prevention program. Social Marketing is defined as the use of marketing approaches to create changes in behavior that are for the social good.
Since I was in Tennessee I started with a look how Jack Daniels (brilliantly) markets whiskey. The challenge for sexual violence prevention advocates is to draw upon the lessons of marketing to effectively “market” sexual violence prevention. CALCASA used sound marketing principles with its MyStrength Campaign to “sell” young men standing up and speaking out against sexual violence as a cool thing to do.
My favorite description of social marketing is that is it not as much “marketing” as it is “social.” Ads, posts, public service announcements and other communication strategies are only some of the mechanisms to advance thoughtful work to reach a specific audience to adopt a specific desired behavior. What really leads to changes in the social norms and promote new healthier behaviors, is to find ways to mobilize the community to take action. Marketing teaches us how to effectively frame sexual violence; social action encourages people to adapt positive behaviors.
Handouts from the presentation in Tennessee are available here.