National Social Marketing Centre


  • Patrick Ladbury

    Farewell to Amaan in Jordan!

    Patrick Ladbury, Monday, February 7, 2011 - 11:08

    After two days of meeting people who have been working on social marketing projects in Jordan, and hearing what they would like from a social marketing diploma course, we sat down with our colleagues from PAP (Public action for Water Energy and Environment Project) to talk details.

  • Unintended consequences?

    Luke van der Beeke, Friday, February 4, 2011 - 11:08

    The Guardian reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign a law this month that will see smokers fined US$50 for lighting up in municipal parks, beaches and pedestrian areas.

  • Patrick Ladbury

    More from Jordan...

    Patrick Ladbury, Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 11:08

    Today we met with a number of the NGOs who are involved in delivering the communications strategy for water, energy and waste, to find out what they would want from a social marketing course and how they felt it should best be structured. Again, some amazing facts emerged:

  • Patrick Ladbury

    From our correspondent in Jordan...

    Patrick Ladbury, Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 11:08

     John and I are currently in Jordan talking to USAID about developing a social marketing diploma course for Jordanian NGOs. We have picked a great time to be here as, while we at the launch of the national communications strategy for water, energy and waste, the king announced that he had sacked the government and appointed a new prime minister.

  • The dark side of nudging?

    Aiden Truss, Monday, January 31, 2011 - 11:08

    I had a call last week from someone concerned that our involvement in behaviour change at The NSMC was somehow directed toward something a bit more nefarious; along the lines of mind control over vulnerable target groups. I suppose that we were implicated in what you might call the 'dark side of nudging' due to the mention of psychological techniques being mentioned in the mainstream press in recent articles on behavioural nudges.

  • Nudging in the BMJ

    Aiden Truss, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 11:08

    Obviously, we at The NSMC are fascinated with all things behavioural. So, it's been interesting to see an alternative viewpoint to the government's nudging policies evaluated from a scientific rather than a knee-jerk libertarian perspective.

    Published yesterday in the British Medical Journal, Judging nudging: can nudging improve population health? (available for free, though you'll need to register!), discusses the possible pitfalls of nudging as opposed to using legislation and whole population approaches.

  • Who pays the piper?

    Guest blogger, Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 11:08

    Bill Smith.

    Following on from John Bromley's piece yesterday on Michael Porter and 'shared value', our guest blogger is Bill Smith, one of the world's leading specialists in social marketing and social change. In this article, Bill gives his view. 

    Porter makes some interesting points in his recent article and BBC interview. Question: Will his vision of shared value − "companies solving social problems and making a buck too" − put social marketing out of business? Well, let's hope so, but don't plan on it.

    Porter's idea raises an interesting perspective for us as social marketers. Isn't social marketing functionally a mechanism to fix a fundamental flaw in the commercial marketing system, namely in how the poor are served? Social marketing provides products and services to people who cannot afford to pay for them; or put another way, the commercial guys have not found a way to provide products and services cheap enough for a segment of the population to pay for. Therefore, condoms are subsidised; advice on cancer screening is given away free; and immunisation campaigns overcome people fears of vaccines (or at least when they work, they do).

  • John Bromley

    A new way of doing business

    John Bromley, Monday, January 24, 2011 - 11:08

    Business guru Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School thinks it's high time for a change. The man who invented the concept of 'corporate social responsibility' now feels that it does not go nearly far enough. He argues that it's essentially ethical window-dressing – what is required is a fundamental shift in how companies operate.

  • How about this for a nudge?

    Aiden Truss, Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:08

    A British company, Hu2 Design has produced a range of simple stickers designed to remind people about the ecological cost of their electricity usage:

    Energy stickers.

    They can be applied around light switches and plug sockets to give a little visual reminder to switch off.

    You can see the full range of 'Eco Reminders' here.

  • What really motivates us?

    Aiden Truss, Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 11:08

    After reading Aditya Chakrabortty's article in today's Guardian, I stumbled across this fascinating illustration (literally) of what really motivates people. It's based on a talk given by workplace behaviour expert Daniel Pink for the RSA last year:

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