A fine line?

by | May 29, 2019 | Change, Learning |

What is the difference between marketing and public service announcements? Is one selling you something you need to purchase and the other something that is free? Is one good for only you and the other good for society as a whole? Seems to me both are about behavioural change and both can be used for good or ill.

During a recent workshop about data responsibility in humanitarian contexts, there were 40-50 brilliant people in the room who understood the subject matter very well. By the end, a few good action plans brimming with content had been developed. Yet, we had not discussed about the ‘how’ of the change. We had the ideas, the ‘product’, but not the ‘how’ the behavioural change would occur or what steps we needed to do. We forgot about the Courageous Change model.

I raised the issue about needing to work with marketers and communications teams to help to figure out how to sell our ideas in our organisations. We are all marketers. We are all salespeople. It’s part of our daily lives. Yet when I talked about marketing, I was met with blank looks; when I switched to talking about ‘behavioural change’, people engaged.

Content and quality products/processes are important, but without stories and engaging the whole person, humans tend not to change. Bernadette understands this better than most.

And yes, it is another illustration of the importance of defining terms, but also understanding how different terms resonate differently with different groups of people.


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