After searching the social marketing universe far and wide, here is this week's Tip Jar...
- The George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services has just published its first issue of Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing. This online journal is edited by graduate students, and grad students are also the lead authors of the peer-reviewed cases (in partnership with practitioners and their academic advisors). The journal also features commissioned and sponsored cases (not peer-reviewed). A sampler of some of the many cases in this issue include the campaign launch of Donate Life California (an online organ donor registry), using targeted health messages in a state colorectal cancer screening program, process evaluation in the "Be Under Your Own Influence" media campaign and the birth of the "truth" campaign.
- John Brian at Beaconfire gives some advice on how to use the Facebook Causes application to make your organization stand out from all the other causes on Facebook.
- How do you help someone wrap their mind around a huge number like the 106,000 aluminum cans that are used in the US every 30 seconds or the 8 million trees harvested in the US each month to make the paper for mail order catalogs? Artist Chris Jordan has created a series of large-scale "statistical art" prints that depict these numbers literally, such as a reproduction of Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte comprised of 106,000 cans of Pepsi, Coke, Orange Crush, V-8 and other drinks. It's a visual form of what media advocates have termed "creative epidemiology." (via PSFK)
- Chris Weber, a PhD student at Stony Brook University, is asking for your help in his dissertation research. He says, "Increasingly, Americans are turning to the web for news about politics. This is a survey about online news coverage of the immigration issue. We are interested in your thoughts on this important political controversy. If you decide to participate in our survey, you will start off by answering a few questions about yourself and your political attitudes. Then you will watch a short news clip of an immigration story. After the clip, we will ask you some questions about your position on immigration policy. In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer." Take the survey here:
http://www.ic.sunysb.edu/stu/crweber/TAKESURVEY/videohuddy.htm. If you have any questions, contact Chris Weber at email@example.com.
- SAT prep giant Kaplan has joined forces with TOKYOPOP to teach vocabulary to high school students in a manga format. From the release: "This series is the newest trend in teen reading and the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry. Appealing to teens interested in a good read filled with exciting plots, the manga platform represents a fun method of vocabulary review, allowing the reader to decipher the context of the word not only from the surrounding text on the page and the definitions in the margins, but also from the graphic element of the story." Great idea - now how about some health manga? (via Ypulse)
- Seth Godin has some ideas for updating the way we elect presidents to fit with our 21st century technology. For example, he suggests six-hour long debates once a week, with the highlights sliced up and disseminated through online and offline channels; voting by ranking all the candidates, which leads to better results; voting at ATM machines; and other ideas that would make the process more interesting and convenient.
- In Jordan, where weddings are often celebrated with gunfire into the air (yep, real "shotgun weddings"), the law of gravity usually prevails and sometimes results in deaths and injuries of celebrants. A man named Ali Zenat (WSJ subscription required) is working hard to convince family and friends of the bride and groom to forgo the celebratory gunfire. He persuaded printers to include a line in wedding invitations that says "gunfire is forbidden" or "our wedding will be more beautiful without gunfire." (I think Miss Manners would approve.) Mr. Zenat has distributed posters featuring a young woman who walked into a wedding and left as a paraplegic. He also persuaded about 10,000 influential individuals, including the ranking members of big clans, to sign a pledge to stop this practice. Slowly, he seems to be making progress.
- Another example of an individual taking on an established cultural custom and prevailing is Cyril Ebie, a young Cameroonian who stood up to his parents and village elders to speak out against the practice of female genital mutilation. Although his two older sisters had already undergone the procedure, when he heard it condemned on a national radio debate, he tried to convince his parents that his younger sister should not have it done. He fled with his sister to a nearby city, and his protest set off a series of events that led to his village putting a stop to the practice. He just won the BBC World Service's Outlook program's Stand Up for Your Rights competition. One person can make a big difference.
- On the other hand, here's someone who was supposedly making a difference but ended up being part of the problem rather than the solution. Hector Marroquin, who is the founder of the gang-intervention group No Guns, was arrested for selling silencers and weapons to an undercover ATF agent. He had received $1.5 million from the City of Los Angeles for a program to keep youth out of gangs. Marroquin is an alleged associate of the prison-based Mexican Mafia, and police searches of his businesses recovered gang photos and journals. His son, who also worked for No Guns, is an admitted gang member who has been indicted on charges of home invasion robbery. Um... maybe they were just helping the youth dispose of their guns and gang paraphernalia?
Photo Credit: samk
- Text messages on mobile phones can be a good way to warn people of an impending hazard and to coordinate disaster response. But just as inaccurate email messages about cancer-causing antiperspirant can propagate quickly from person to person, not all text messages can be trusted. In Indonesia, a hoax text message warning of an tsunami was widely circulated and resulted in thousands of people fleeing their homes in panic, though the warning had no basis in fact. Looks like we need an SMS-Snopes.
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