Social Marketing

Use our expertise to shape your messages and extend your reach.

When we first started our business under the reform years of the  Hawke/Keating Governments,  communication strategies were an essential part of a cabinet brief to ensure when the program was launched adequate funding was allocated for the department to communicate these reforms. During these years significant national social campaigns were launched that still resonate in people’s memories. These include the ‘Grim Reaper’ Aids preventative  campaign, Better Cities, Active Girls in Sport, (gender equity campaign), Aim for One Workforce (Aboriginal employment and training campaign) to name a few. All these campaigns and program funding disappeared with the arrival of the Howard Government.

Since then, we have seen communication centralised and  dictated by the Ministers’ office – often to achieve electoral rather than social benefits. Government communication units now use templates to replace the strategic and collaborative thinking that once ensured the ‘right message was developed for the right audience’. Confusion now exists around the use of social media which often goes unquestioned, while social marketing practices and its key principles have virtually disappeared from government communication agendas. There are many skilled government communication practitioners whose work today is hamstrung by narrowly defined communication templates and lack of program budget funding to allow innovative thinking and research.

We sympathise with these communication professionals and while we can’t fix the  system we can advocate for a more effective and ethical approach to ensuring  social marketing campaigns are developed first in the public interest, to influence behaviour and bring about social change.

Our key principles as social marketers include:

PASSION – storytellers are by nature passionate human beings.  This is what drives our creativity and the development of  stories and core messages that need to be told and addressed. So embrace your passionate communicators and support them where you can.

PURPOSE – the purpose of a communication professional is to ensure your message or campaign connects with your audience and stakeholders for genuine engagement, influence and to build trust.

PARTICIPATION – members of the audience/community and key stakeholders must be involved/consulted in the early stages of strategy development, campaign messages and distribution channels. Test your campaign and distribution strategies with these people first before launching it.

PARTNERSHIPS – partnering with non-profit organisations or other government organisations who are working with and know the mindsets of your audience  – in particular those involved at a community level.

Extensive experience with both government and non-profit organisations

More recently, our regional social marketing strategies have included community festivals, community radio coverage, educational kits,  awards, learning and development programs, newsletters, posters, videos and use of social media.

Research

We understand that every community is different and encourage their input into the development of campaign messages. We use surveys, focus groups, social media and discrete telephone interviews to decide what approach will achieve the best possible result for your campaign.

Our publishing arm, On the Stone, gives our clients an affordable option for getting their work out into the community so that it is accessible in both print and online.