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Minister Opens First Social Marketing Conference

16 October 2003

Media Release

Minister Opens First Social Marketing Conference

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard opened the first ever New Zealand social marketing conference today (Thursday), challenging those in the profession to "amaze him" with programmes that resulted in real, positive social change.

Speaking before about 200 professionals attending the "Social Marketing for Social Profit" conference in Wellington, Mr Mallard said New Zealand social marketing was showing real strength, in spite of being in its infancy.

Social marketers needed to be careful about overloading the public with their messages, he said.

"But this should not be seen as a barrier. It should provide the motivation to connect, share, create and together achieve brilliance."

Mr Mallard said social products were about creating positive social change, and making the lives of individuals, families and society better in the long term.

He outlined several recent trends within the state sector relevant to social marketing.

They were:

- The need for innovative thinking and responsible risk-taking, such as the Breaking the Cycle child abuse campaign of the mid-1990s.

- The need for partnerships between agencies that share the same social marketing goals, so the public does not feel "bombarded" with messages.

- The sharing of research and resources.

- Awareness of the wider policy environment.

- Connecting with communities - working with them, rather than preaching to them.

- Ensuring outcomes can be measured.

- Ensuring social marketing campaigns are conducted ethically, especially in relation to the collection and use of private information.

The conference runs for two days and has been organised by the Health Sponsorship Council, the Cancer Society of New Zealand, the Land Transport Safety Authority, the New Zealand Retirement Commission and the Ministry for the Environment.

"Social marketing is about creating programmes designed to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences, in a way that benefits society as a whole," says Health Sponsorship Council director Iain Potter.

"Although use of the phrase "social marketing' is a recent development in New Zealand, there are already some excellent social marketing programmes taking place here.

"This conference provides a first opportunity for social marketers to tackle, together, some of the big challenges facing the profession."

Campaigns aimed at reducing smoking, obesity, unsafe behaviour in the sun and drink driving are among the existing social marketing programmes in New Zealand.

The conference is being sponsored by the Auckland Regional Council, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Clemenger BBDO and the Land Transport Safety Authority.

For further information contact:

Rachel Allan Health Sponsorship Council 04 472 5777


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