A simple social marketing strategy using wikis & RSS feeds to ensure success

‘LISTENING TO PEOPLE’S STORIES’ (see article on neuro-science research of how people break up new information).


Lead a presentation to the DfES/DH/etc on how you would set about devising an effective communications approach to engage parents on the subject of childhood obesity.


Parents are key influencers of children’s behaviour next to schools. Aim here is to engage parents, in particular those in disadvantaged, means more successful engagement. By getting to parents can get to children.


That using communications to effect measurable behaviour change.


Our approach is simple and scalable which means can be adjusted according to time and budget constraints, whilst still delivering measurable results, which gain column inches in local and national media.

1. The Context – show understanding

Healthy weight in children as a public health issue:

  • A healthy diet and regular physical activity contribute to general health and wellbeing. Children whose diet or physical activity levels are not healthy might become overweight or underweight – either of which can have a substantial effect on health both in childhood and in later life.
  • The Health Survey for England 2005 showed that rates of obesity are rising among children. In boys and girls aged 2–10 years, rates of obesity increased from 11% in 1995 to 17% in 2005. A further 16% of boys and 12% of girls were overweight.

2. Scoping  – using tried & tested social marketing approach  (thanks to the  National Consumer Council)

Simple steps:

Customer viewpoint                                                                                       
A strong ‘customer’ orientation with importance attached to understanding where the customer is starting from. Connected to knowing who exactly is the customer.

Clear focus on understanding existing behaviour and key influences on it, alongside developing clear measurable behavioural goals.

‘Intervention mix’ and ‘marketing mix’                                                 
Using a range (or ‘mix’) of different interventions or methods to achieve a particular behavioural goal. 

Cost to the customer                                                                           
Understanding what is being expected of ‘the customer’, the real social cost to them.

Use and application of the ‘competition’ concept – understanding factors that impact on the customer and that compete for their attention and time.

The development – inclusive of stakeholders

  1. Use online project tool which easy to use – with built in permissions – a wiki to share ideas and steps in the project with all stakeholders
  1. So are no nasty suprises only nice ones – share proposals with you and get ready feedback – tack advantage of syngery with other stakeholder activity – ‘wisdom of the crowd’.
  1. So speeds up time to completion and sign-off – and where recorded in terms of version and ID of all sign-offs
  1. Ensures measurement of success is closely tied in with process of how build

To quote Bananarama: “Its not what you do it’s the way that you do it and that’s what gets results”!

Implementing – media success stories

  1. Test approach in pilot if there’s budget.
  1. Evaulate and refine – use wiki to record results in lightweight – RSS for updates so can be flexible if one things works and another doesn’t.
  1. Celebrate success – make sure media knows about the impact.