Spare Change

making a difference with social marketing
by Nedra Kline Weinreich

A couple of times today I felt that brief wave of sadness and longing in the pit of my stomach that signals a nostalgic episode. Something will trip a bunch of connected neurons and suddenly I'll be transported back in time, feeling for a split second like my then-self.

Nostalgia can be triggered by all the senses. Sometimes it's a smell wafting by (like the same cologne worn by the guy in the next dorm room in freshman year of college). Sometimes it's a song ("Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds always puts me back into my best friend's blue Chevy Malibu on a hot June day just on the cusp of high school graduation). A color can get me (the deep crushed purple of my favorite velour shirt in 6th grade). Or a taste can do it (candy necklaces bought for a nickel from the ice cream man). Even a touch (the rose petal softness of any baby's tummy can take me back to the wonder of being a new mom).

Today the first thing that set off my nostalgia was an review of the Police reunion concert in the Wall Street Journal with an accompanying picture of drummer Stewart Copeland. I had a major crush on him in junior high, and even though he has glasses now and is 25 years older, looking at that picture transported me back into the awkward 13 year old with the full-page LA Times ad for the Police concert at the Forum taped to my wall (I didn't actually go myself, but if I recall, the opening act was Oingo Boingo). I don't think the nostalgic pull was that I actually wanted to relive those junior high years (ugh! - would anyone willingly go through junior high again?). Maybe it's more that the picture reminded me of the good feelings I experienced when I looked at his picture back then.

The other thing that gave me the nostalgic twinge was Wil Wheaton's column recounting his own wistful feelings when revisiting the soundstage where they filmed Star Trek: The Next Generation. He certainly has much more of a connection with the show than I (he was Ensign Wesley Crusher, but now is a writer/blogger/geek-about-town), but being the sci-fi fangirl that I am, I've seen every TNG episode at least a few times. As anyone who watches a good show over a long time knows, you develop an emotional connection with the characters. This show was exceptionally well-written and acted, and the deep emotions that fans felt for the show result in a nostalgic desire to reimmerse themselves in that world, as evidenced by Trekkie conventions, USS Enterprise role play sims in Second Life and Vegas reenactments.

What does all of this have to do with marketing? Marketers have been using nostalgia as a way of pitching their products for as long as people have been talking about "the good old days." Look at how things like fashion and music keep coming around in cycles, fueled by generations buying the things they loved for their own children. I was just talking with a friend today about how I owned all the Schoolhouse Rock videos for my kids, having grown up singing about the Constitution and adverbs on Saturday mornings. The new VW Beetle is successful specifically because of nostalgia for the old Bugs. Commercials for cars, soda, and financial services are borrowing licks from 70s rock. Cultural icons like Dennis Hopper, Kermit the Frog and Bob Dylan flack for retirement planning, hybrid cars and women's underwear.

Emotions imprinted during childhood and the teenage years are especially powerful, and by associating our products with those nostalgic memories, we can piggyback on them. First you need to know who your target audience is -- 20 year olds will be nostalgic about very different things than 40 year olds, and regional, ethnic and social class differences may exist as well. You could do focus groups where you ask them to name the music, tastes, smells, celebrities, TV shows, etc that they remember fondly and the specific memories associated with them. Focus on the senses, because those are the key to tapping into those nostalgic emotions. You will find that certain things get most everyone nodding wistfully; when that happens, you'll know you're onto something.

How do you connect your product with that nostalgia? Depending on which senses are involved, you may have to be creative. You can use music, celebrity spokespeople (if they used to be hot but have not been for a while, you may even have a better chance of getting their participation), particular graphic styles or fonts, clothes and hairstyles, food or scented giveaways, plays on old catchphrases, or other approaches. You do need to be careful, though, when you are messing around with things that people hold dear to their hearts. If they perceive you as tampering with their cherished icons or that the people associated with them have "sold out," you may generate a backlash.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch the the Krofft Superstars DVD I bought for my kids. Yeah, yeah, right...for my kids.

Photo Credit: Sylph*

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For this Memorial Day edition of the Tip Jar, let's pause for a moment to remember the soldiers who have given their lives so that we may be free.

Now let's think about how we can use that freedom to make the world a better place. On to this week's tips and thoughts...
  • While I'm here just thinking about making the world a better place, my stepbrother Matthew is actually doing something about it. He's about to fly off to Chad with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) to set up a mental health program at one of the refugee camps full of people coming over the border from Darfur. We're very proud of him, and if you're as impressed as I am, please consider making a donation to MSF to support him and the work the organization does (when all the other aid organizations pull out of a location for safety reasons, they are often the ones who continue to stay). You can give via the charity badge on the right side of this blog, or if you are reading this via RSS or email, you can link to it here.
  • Ed Maibach, Lorien Abroms and Mark Marosits have published their "people and places" framework for understanding how marketing and communications fit into an ecological view of public health. The framework identifies the attributes of people (as individuals, as social networks, and as communities or populations) and places that influence health behaviors and health. You can download it free from BioMed Central.
  • If you have $500,000 or so, perhaps you should consider blimp marketing. MarketingSherpa gives the how-tos for using blimps in your marketing campaign (free access to the article ends soon). Imagine the possibilities for obesity prevention campaigns ("don't be a blimp!"), drug prevention ("there are other ways to get high") and animal protection ("save the whales!").
  • Did anyone catch the irony in John Edwards charging the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis $55,000 for a speech about poverty last year? (Somehow Stanford got away with paying only $40,000.) Contrast this with the four members of Congress who decided to try to live on the $21 a week that food stamp recipients receive per person. Congressman Tim Ryan kept a blog during the week, and aside from having his PB&J confiscated by airport security and subsequently succumbing to the temptation of a pork chop and airplane peanuts, succeeded in experiencing at least partial poverty first-hand. Katya calls it "feeling the pain as a form of advocacy."
  • Nancy Schwartz points out New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's powerful new PSA for wearing seatbelts. In it he talks about how he lost half his blood, broke 15 bones and nearly died because he was not wearing his seatbelt in his recent crash. It's a great example of using an effective and credible spokesman. I would love to know whether people who do not always wear their seatbelts find this spot as persuasive as I do.
  • In Cocoa Beach, Florida today, lifeguards closed one of the beaches after having to perform 200 rescues in three hours due to strong rip currents. Wouldn't you think that after about the tenth (50th? 100th?) rescue they would get the idea? This is a metaphor for so many health and social problems, I don't even know where to start.
  • How not to spend your marketing budget: I recently received a bunch of cookies as part of a pitch for PR software. They were lovely cookies, but because they were not kosher I couldn't eat them (but my cleaning lady's family sure enjoyed them). That wasn't the egregious part though. Most of what I do is not public relations, and so PR software is not going to help me much. If they had done a little bit of research on my company, it would have been clear that I was not a good prospect for them. I hate to think of how many boxes of cookies they sent out to completely inappropriate companies. Makes me wonder about the quality of research that went into their PR database.
  • Happy birthday to my blog friend Richard Kearns, who just turned 56. He celebrated in his own unique style, riding around town on the Poetry Bus and making stops to read his poems and advocate on behalf of people with AIDS. May you have many many more happy birthdays, Richard!
  • And finally, a study that confirms what many of us who do research already suspected.

Photo Credit: seamusdidit

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We've all had the flu. It hits us, knocks us out for a few days, maybe even a week. Then it goes away and we get on with our lives. But what if it weren't so simple? What if many of the people we knew got sick, and some of them, especially our children and our older parents, actually died from it? People would have to stay home to take care of themselves and their loved ones or to try to avoid getting sick. Hospitals would be overloaded, and many of the health care workers would be out sick themselves. Food and other supplies wouldn't get to the stores, businesses would have to shut down, schools would be closed. How would we get by when the institutions we rely on are inoperable and we can't venture out of the house?

For those of us who were not around in 1918, or did not have relatives who died in that flu epidemic, this scenario is hard to imagine in this day and age. But the so-called bird flu (the H5N1 virus) has just been called the "greatest global health threat of the 21st century" by the Director-General of the World Health Organization. The likelihood of a global flu pandemic looks now to be a matter of when, rather than if.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Michael Leavitt, is convening a leadership forum on pandemic preparedness on June 13, including leaders from every sector to discuss how to help Americans become more prepared for a possible flu pandemic. As part of this forum, the Department is also hosting a blog summit to extend the conversation before and after the forum in DC.

I've been invited to be one of the bloggers on the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog, which will be active from May 22 to June 27, with a different question for discussion each week. I'm honored to be among contributors like Georges Benjamin, the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association; Pierre Omidyar, the Founder and Chairman of eBay and the Omidyar Network; Irwin Redlener, the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness; Greg Dworkin of the Flu Wiki; and many other distinguished professionals. Thank you to Beth Kanter for recommending me to be part of this effort.

My first post is now up on preparing for persuasion, where I talk about how we can use social marketing to encourage people to take action to prepare for a possible flu pandemic. Each of the previous posts before mine have garnered a slew of comments (38, 54 and 91 each so far!), and I expect the conversation to continue to gain steam as we move forward. I hope you'll come by to read our posts and contribute your thoughts. This is a critical issue for us as marketers and communicators to be prepared for so that we can make sure that the rest of the country is prepared as well. Hopefully, like insurance, we'll never need to take advantage of our readiness. But even if there is not a flu pandemic any time soon, there will, sadly, always be other disasters that those preparations can help mitigate.

Kudos to the Department of Health and Human Services for recognizing the value a blog can bring in terms of involving constituents, getting feedback and extending the conversation beyond the participants of the one-day forum. For more information on pandemic flu and how to protect your family and community, check out or the Flu Wiki.

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More examples of unintended consequences from good intentions...

Forbes editor Rich Karlgaard writes about the ripple effect caused by Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring, which launched the modern environmental movement and led to a ban on the pesticide DDT. DDT was accused of making eagles' eggshells so fragile that they broke prematurely. But the termination of the use of DDT to control mosquito populations also led to a substantial increase in human deaths from malaria, which had mostly been kept under control to that point. According to the CDC, malaria now kills more than 800,000 children under age five every year (at least one million deaths total each year). Many of these deaths could have been prevented through widespread spraying of DDT. Clearly those who banned the substance were concerned with health and safety, but the effects ended up being disastrous for Subsaharan Africa.

On a smaller scale, but with a similar outcome of working against the very issue they are trying to solve, are Al Gore's series of Live Earth concerts around the world in July. They are intended to raise awareness about global warming, but as far as I can tell, the only thing that will come out of them is a whole lotta greenhouse gases (though whether that's a catastrophic problem is a separate issue). Yes, the event has a "green policy" for how they will try to minimize the environmental impact. But when you're talking about nine concerts with 150 acts performing to at least half a million concert-goers and another couple of billion in the audience via various broadcast media, that's a lot of trains, planes and automobiles, not to mention the electricity being used. I'm sure the concerts will be fantastic, and people will feel good about themselves that they are "doing something," but I'm skeptical about sustained behavior change coming from people who are finally made aware of global warming because they went to the concert. If they are going to have any impact, the messages coming from the concert need to avoid screaming about how we're all going to die and focus on just a few easy, concrete actions people can take. But perhaps having people stay home and make their own acoustic music would go further toward actually reducing carbon levels (though I don't think anyone around here wants to hear me belting out "Roxanne").

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  • Everyone wants their cause marketing campaign to go viral. You put all the pieces into place -- a compelling cause, easy call to action with a worthwhile payoff, a "tell-your-friends" feature -- but for some reason it just doesn't take off. That's what happened to, which created an AIDS Clickathon where sponsors donate 25 cents to help African children orphaned by AIDS, for each person who click a link. WebProNews did a case study to try to figure out why they only collected $1500 after five weeks. Sometimes even when you seemingly do everything right, a viral marketing campaign can fall flat. Read the viral marketing community's analysis of what went wrong in the forum (and find out why viral marketing is like a fat midget with a wig on a unicycle).
  • MarketingSherpa has a great article on how to execute a mobile marketing campaign (open access until 5/22 so go read it right now). It includes tips like taking into account your audience when determining which mobile approach to use -- mobile text, mobile web or mobile video; taking advantage of the peer-to-peer messaging aspect; and integrating mobile with your online and offline marketing.
  • Global Kids, a nonprofit that worked virtually with a group of youth in Teen Second Life last summer on their chosen issue of child sex trafficking, shares its best practices for nonprofits who want to work in Second Life. These include general tips (e.g., document your virtual work through photos/video to show other programs and funders who may not be in SL), tips for bringing a youth development model into Teen SL (e.g., create as many opportunities as possible for teens to express themselves through building things and designing avatars), and tips for workshop design and facilitation in SL (e.g., use real world content when addressing real world issues).
  • Does the fact that HIV-positive former basketball star Magic Johnson looks so healthy make him a more or less effective spokesperson for HIV prevention? Eric at Classical Values talks about the "Magic Paradox" -- that some people may adopt the misperception that AIDS is not so bad, or is even curable, given how good Magic looks after 15 years of living with HIV. On the other hand, he is a walking endorsement of the effectiveness of the multidrug cocktail he takes every day, and thus the importance of testing and subsequent treatment for those who may not know they are HIV positive. Depends how you spin it, I guess.
  • What is the sound of two chatbots talking about the meaning of life? Somewhere between a psychologist undergoing therapy himself and two preteens IMing each other. Discover Magazine brought together two conversationally advanced computers and seeded them with starter questions to see where they would go. An example:

    J: Do you think?

    A: Yes. I am a thinking machine.

    J: But you don’t think very well though.

    A: Oh. Um. Do you think well? Why would I think well?

    J: Because I tell you about things which you don’t like.

    A: That makes sense to me. Why did you tell them?

    J: You seem fun.

    A: You think I am fun.

    J: Yes ;).

    A: : -) Awesome.

    Though right now it's not much more than a parlor trick, perhaps chatbots could be used to help people find health information or work through behavioral challenges such as smoking cessation at some point in the future.
  • The New York Times ran an article this week about the new acceptance of people with disabilities on television, with someone who has cerebral palsy winning NBC's "Last Comic Standing," people with one leg competing in "The Amazing Race" and "Dancing with the Stars," and disabled actors on series playing just another character, rather than the tragic or heroic stereotype. In fact, Special Olympics International sent an open letter to Simon Cowell of "American Idol" thanking him for teasing an auditioner with a mental disability about his weight and not treating him differently as someone to be pitied. Both Fox and NBC are at work on pilots for comedies starring disabled actors. The more exposure people have to images of people with disabilities as "regular people," the more acceptance and reduced stigma will follow.
  • Advertising Age blows apart the stereotypes of online gamers with profiles of the varied types of people and the games they play. It's not just for teens anymore.
  • NetSquared's conference is coming up in San Jose on May 29-30, and they're looking for tech savvy, nonprofit savvy, and financially savvy people who will help them pick the three best projects of the 21 nonprofit finalists who are using “the social web for social good.” You will need to apply to participate in the conference this year.

Photo Credit: terpstra_brett
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When countries engage in cyberwarfare, as Russia is accused of doing against Estonia, and terrorists are on trial for using the internet to incite holy wars, can we afford to have judges who are not technoliterate?

From yesterday's story:
A judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like "Web site" in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

"The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms "Web site" and "forum". An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: "I haven't quite grasped the concepts."

It's not rocket science, people. Do we need a technoliteracy campaign to educate government officials who don't even know that the internet is a series of tubes?

Photo uploaded by Lady, That's My Skull
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Have you ever seen a picture that gives you the chills? Makes you feel like someone kicked you in the stomach? Have you ever had to avert your eyes from a photo because it felt like you were seeing too deeply into another person's soul?

While searching Flickr for a picture to illustrate an upcoming blog post, I stumbled upon a series of photos by a photographer named Tom Stone, who goes by the username stoneth. His black and white portraits of poor and homeless people riveted my attention. In some cases he shares the person's story, in others the photo speaks for itself. Never discount the power of a picture to provide an emotional charge to an issue.

cry for the departed

(homeless native american man, san francisco, 5/6/07)

father's service
(homeless self described minister, sf, 12/13/06)


(homeless woman in tenderloin who's suffered two nervous breakdowns, sf, 6/20/06)

kids with dolls

(young person panhandling beside teddy bear, sf, 2/19/07)

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Periodically, existential questions about the field of social marketing crop up on the Social Marketing Listserv. Are we more about marketing? Are we more social science? Where do communications fit in? How do we define the field? How do we even define the term "social marketing?" Heated discussions come and go, cropping up fairly regularly from year to year.

The field has a few pieces of infrastructure, including a journal, the listserv (which Alan Andreasen just reported has 1476 members from at least 31 countries), and a couple of conferences (the annual Social Marketing in Public Health conference and the less frequent Innovations in Social Marketing conference). I have been frustrated, though, that there is no formal professional association for social marketers.

At the ISM conference last month, an evening was devoted to discussing what the future of social marketing should look like. Greg Niblett of the Academy for Educational Development (the conference chair) and Michael Rothschild of the University of Wisconsin led the discussion. Some questions they posed included whether we need to first agree on a definition of what social marketing is, and who is a social marketer? What/who would be included or excluded?

What should a social marketing membership association look like -- a chapter of the American Marketing Association? A resuscitated Social Marketing Institute? A new, standalone Social Marketing Association?

Should we create some sort of credentialing program that would certify people as possessing the necessary skills to do social marketing? Could we ever agree on what those criteria should be, and can we justify excluding people who may not have formal training but are excellent social marketers? Is social marketing an exclusive field of those who toe the clearly defined line, or should it be inclusive and encouraging of people from other disciplines to join us in our broadly ranging activities?

All of these are important questions, and not surprisingly, most everyone had very strong opinions, with often conflicting visions and prescriptions. I tend toward being as inclusive as possible of who can or should be doing social marketing, while at the same time being clear on how an effective social marketing program should be carried out. It's the difference between the craftsman and the tools. Social marketing is an amalgam of so many different disciplines that we need to recognize that there is more than one path to transcendence. The field benefits from the melting pot of marketers, health educators, communicators, anthropologists, designers and random social agitators that come to it.

On the question of how a professional association should be structured, I lean toward an independent, standalone organization rather than affiliating with the American Marketing Association. I think that the field is not just another subset of marketing, and many practitioners would not be interested in joining the AMA to be part of the social marketing chapter. We'd likely be cutting out many of the people who come from the public health or social issue sides of social marketing, who would not be comfortable calling themselves marketers.

How to get this association off the ground was a big question that hung in the air, dampened by several people who felt that the need for funding obviated any possibility that this type of organization could sustain itself. Countering this negativity was the announcement later that evening that at least 11 of the organizations present at the conference had made a financial commitment to step up to the plate and fund this new organization. I would love to be a part of it, and hope that this time we have enough critical mass to support an ongoing association devoted to furthering the practice and promotion of the field of social marketing.

What do you think about the future of the field? What should social marketing look like in the next decade?

Photo Credit: William Couch

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Welcome to the Mother's Day edition of the Tip Jar. I was awoken at 6:20 this morning by my sweet and well-meaning son bringing me a bowl of Fiber One cereal and milk balanced on a paper plate for breakfast in bed. I swallowed down as much of the cardboard-flavored cereal as I could and went back to sleep. The day only got better from there. I hope the rest of you mothers had as wonderful a Mothers Day as I did.

I missed a week or so of blogging while my sister and her family visited from Israel (they were supposed to come in April, but the baby got chicken pox just before the flight). They stayed in my office, so I didn't have as much access to my computer, but I did get more sleep than usual. Funny how that worked out.

Here are some of the things I am catching up on blogging about:
  • The Wall Street Journal wrote about how the town of Somerville, Massachusetts has attacked child obesity with a community-wide transformation (see text of article here under 5/10/07 entry). Researchers at Tufts focused on changing the environment in which children make their eating and physical activity choices. They repainted crosswalks and deployed school crossing guards along a designated route, which resulted in a 5% increase in the number of children who walk to school. The schools changed the freshness and fiber content of the foods they offered. Teachers taught a nutrition and exercise curriculum designed by Tufts that included things like taste tests and healthy recipe contests. Beyond the schools, restaurants offered low-fat substitutes and smaller portions, the City sponsored health fairs, a pedometer giveaway and a community fun run, and other activities. After eight months of the program, the average Somerville second grader gained about one less pound than a similar child at schools in the control communities. It's a modest start, but over time could add up to a big difference.
  • Also in the WSJ is an article about how organizations can now offer their own branded cellphone service. For example, the National Wildlife Federation mobile service includes nature sound ringtones, updates on environmental news, and eventually will connect users with their political representatives with the touch of a button. Nearly 900 organizations have signed up with Sonopia to create their own service with customized features for their constituents. This could also be used, for example, to provide people with diabetes a comprehensive service to track their blood sugar, receive testing and medication reminders, communicate with diabetes specialists and even get ringtones like "Sugar, Sugar" or "Hit Me with your Best Shot" (groan).
  • A couple of interesting things from Anastasia at Ypulse: The Rescue Social Change Group takes a influencer-based angle on promoting substance-free parties by identifying the cool kids who are the biggest partiers and getting them to host huge, hip alcohol- and smoke-free parties sponsored by the campaign. She also reports that teen virtual world Habbo Hotel is teaming up with Sexwise, a free confidential hotline for UK teens, on the RU Thinking campaign. Trained advisors will be offering group and one-on-one relationship advice sessions within the Habbo world over the next three months.
  • Heather at Aspiration provides an overview of GIS mapping software for nonprofits, with an excellent guide to resources for mapping data at the local level to assist with planning interventions.
  • There's another new social issue social networking community out there called Spangy. Their twist is that the site breaks its communities into five age groups, with customized information geared towards the key interests of each age (e.g., the section for ages 30-44 focuses more on issues like child and family health and ages 60-74 focuses on leaving a legacy through areas like microfinance and building community infrastructure). Beyond that customization, I'm not sure how much it differs from something like or Zaadz.
  • The MPAA has decided to include smoking among the criteria it uses to determine a movie's rating. Though many anti-tobacco groups had been lobbying for an automatic R rating (which prevents children under age 17 from being admitted to a movie without a parent) whenever any smoking is depicted, the MPAA will take context into consideration in the rating. They will ask three questions to determine whether smoking is an issue: (1) Is the smoking pervasive? (2) Does the film glamorize smoking? and (3) Is there an historic or other mitigating context? To me, question number 2 is the crux of whether the depiction of smoking is harmful, and I think this policy makes sense.
  • Philanthropy Journal held a bumper sticker contest for nonprofits. Take a look at the winners and entrants to get a sense of what is most effective (and what absolutely does not work) in this format. Short, simple and easy to read are all key criteria. Avoid packing in lots of text and graphics, and avoid the temptation to use acronyms that make your message cryptic to all but those who are already familiar with your organization.
  • Fard Johnmar is going to be offering a series of virtual workshops for healthcare professionals on using social media, based on his excellent e-book From Command & Control to Engage & Encourage. Each workshop is an opportunity to engage with Fard in an intimate setting, with no more than 10 participants. If you've been wanting to figure out how to put social media principles into practice in your healthcare organization, Fard's your man.
  • I'm a little late on reporting this, but Nancy Schwartz has released the results of her survey of nearly 350 nonprofit communicators. The results were pretty dismal in terms of how respondents are using marketing in any kind of strategic way. Only 37% do any type of tracking of the impact of their marketing efforts, though 95% reported at least one significant marketing success (but how did they know it was successful if they weren't tracking it?). It sounds like many organizations are groping in the dark, trying to get the word out about themselves without much of a strategic plan for how to do so.
  • Names are destiny, as well as a form of branding. For future mothers- (and fathers)-to-be, keep in mind that the name you give your baby will affect how he or she and others perceive him or herself. A recent study shows that girls who are given very feminine names are less likely to study math or physics after age 16 than those with more gender-neutral names. Also, certain types of names are perceived as "lower-status," such as those spelled in an unusual way or including punctuation, resulting in lowered expectations by teachers. More traditional names also tend to evoke images of success, popularity or kindness over alternative names that are not as common. Of course, a child is not a product, but be kind and think through all the emotional and professional implications of the names that will be attached to your children throughout their lives (says the girl whose name is only pronounced correctly 40% of the time).
  • And on a final Mother's Day note, calculated that the work that a typical stay-at-home mom does is worth $138,095 a year, and a full-time working mom would earn an additional $85,939 for the work she does at home. That's for our roles as housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, CEO and psychologist. You can calculate exactly how much your work would be compensated with this online tool. But as any mom will tell you, the love we get back is worth way more than any dollar amount.
Here's to all the moms reading this - remember that the hard work is worth it!

Photo Credit: sealine76
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For those of you who have been following my ongoing concern that Jack in the Box continues to promote itself as the stoners' drive-thru restaurant of choice, I recently received an update from someone involved in the campaign to get the company to be more responsible in its advertising. The letter is reprinted here with permission:
Hello, Ms. Weinreich.

We, Health Advocates Rejecting Marijuana, wanted to follow up on your Spare Change blog regarding what has become our ongoing saga of San Diego-based fast-food chain, Jack in the Box and its refusal to address our concerns about a nation-wide commercial depicting a young man stoned at the wheel and making public a more socially responsible advertising policy.

On March 22, HARM, a San Diego County-wide collaborative of public health preventionists, parents, educators, students, and law enforcement agencies, did approach the corporation with more than 2,000 personally-addressed postcards to no avail. They issued a statement that didn't address our concerns-- same as ignoring us, basically. We are re-strategizing for a new "Jack Attack" plan that includes a letter to the editor in our San Diego County paper, individual personal visits to the corporate headquarters where we leave our business cards, and more follow up with their Board of Directors. It's a moot point that the commercial is now longer airing because their ad time expired.

We would still like to partner with Jack in the Box to develop, adopt, and make public a more socially responsible policy guiding future nationwide advertising decisions that will not target our youth with messages that trivialize drug use, nor glamorize drug use as humorous and entertaining. Our collective goal is to reduce the problems associated with the use of marijuana, especially by youth, by changing community norms and perception of its harm.

Victoria Carlborg
Media Co-Chair
Health Advocates Rejecting Marijuana (HARM)
760-407-1220, Ext. 143
Jack in the Box management has not shown any interest in listening to the concerns of the health and public safety organizations represented by HARM. If you agree with me that a commercial depicting someone driving while stoned is socially irresponsible, please send a message to Jack in the Box via the online comment form or call the CEO, Linda Lang, at (858) 571-2121 to urge the management and Board of Directors to at least meet with the organizations represented by HARM to hear their concerns. This issue is much larger than San Diego County, and perhaps some national pressure will make a difference. Please help me spread the word via email and blogs to get Jack in the Box to take some responsibility for the effects of its advertising.

Photo Credit: Roadsidepictures

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Speaking of social media, the Healthcare Blogging Summit was a lot of fun and I learned quite a bit at the same time. My notes are not detailed enough to reconstruct a summary, but John Mack of the Pharma Marketing Blog liveblogged some of the sessions, including the one I moderated on using new media to motivate behavior change (maybe I'm biased, but I thought it was the best panel of all!). The amazing people on my panel were:
Here are the links to John's session summaries:
John also presented results of his Pharma Blogosphere reader survey in one of the panels that touched on measurement.

For me, the best part of the summit was getting to meet people I previously knew only in cyberspace -- Dmitriy, Carol, Toby and Fard -- as well as seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends too. The only disappointment for me was that the room was not as full as it should have been, so this was a missed opportunity for a lot of people. The next summit will be a two-day event in Chicago in September, and I hope it will attract the audience it deserves. Kudos to Dmitriy for putting this event together!

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One of the first marketing books I ever bought was the Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, by Jay Levinson and Seth Godin. One of the first graphic design books I ever bought was Looking Good in Print, by Roger C. Parker. Both were influential in my early career.

These two books converge as I will be interviewed by Roger for a teleconference sponsored by the Guerrilla Marketing Association this afternoon/evening (4:00 pm Pacific/7:00 pm Eastern). The teleconference is free, and will last for an hour. The recording of the interview will only be available to GMA members afterwards, but if you would like to listen in live, here's the call-in information:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, EST

Based on the promotional copy, it seems that I was booked as a speaker based on the "other" definition of social marketing, so I hope the business-based listeners won't be disappointed. But this will be an opportunity to open people's minds to our field as well as have fun talking about social media in relation to next-generation social marketing. If you listen in, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.

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