Where Do We Start With Social Change?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

'Making more stuff, more resources, and more noise doesn't make change happen."

- Sherry Slejska

Change marketing starts with; knowing what you value; knowing the change you want to see; knowing the target group; creating a plan; executing tactics and then evaluating the results.

If you look at historical timelines you will notice that humans have always shared one thing in common; struggle. No one is exempt from the struggles of life; it starts with a baby being pushed and squeezed into the world and somehow the struggles continue throughout life.

In contrast, we also know babies soon learn to be curious, smile, giggle, and explore - they develop and grow. We see seeds become beautiful flowers, we see caterpillars become butterflies, and so on. What am I getting to? We are all growing and changing in the midst of our own struggles and there is often something awesome on the other side of the struggle.

But what happens when the struggles are on a global scale? Do we panic? Do we embrace change? Do we lean on organizations to magically make everything better? Or do we steer change together? But how do we move change together when COVID seems to keep pushing us apart? These are just a few of the questions my clients and I have pondered.

I wish I had all the answers but what I do know is that we are in the midst of epic social change and like every successful business knows, how the change is communicated internally and to the target audience will steer the outcome. In marketing terms we call this Social Marketing and by applying some very simple principles to your cause; whether it’s profit or to provide much-needed resources such as mental health resources provided by the CAMH or other community partners, we can impact changed behaviors such as perception and actions people take, after all, I was raised in a garbage producing generation, I now compost and recycle.

You can send a negative message such as “we will all end up with PTSD” from the COVID pandemic or you can be part of social change by extending supporting messages such as, “The pandemic is helping see what is most important and making us more resilient.” That's a social marketing example we can all take part in.

There are so many challenges in our world which we can all agree on; from racial injustice, native rights, environmental causes, mental health, etc. But screaming louder, creating more inaccessible resources, and saying we did it, doesn't mean we accomplished it. To effectively influence social change we must understand what we truly support and the issues; we must act on values that support the change we want to see, we must ensure we understand those we wish to influence and that we have the resources to support them. Then we get clear messaging out there to support your values and goals.

If you want to learn more about social marketing and how it can support change, please reach out, I’d love to chat.

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