"The book goes beyond the theoretical steps of social marketing to address the larger questions of how social marketing can help solve the most urgent and complex social and public health issues of today."
And this is just the beginning of a careful and thoughtful (and yes, positive) review of Social Marketing and Social Change by Sarah Olson in this month's issue of Health Promotion Practice, a journal for professionals engaged in the practice of developing, implementing, and evaluating health promotion and disease prevention programs.
[Craig] begins the book by connecting the purposes of social marketing and why people choose a profession in public health and health promotion: “How can I change the world? How can I make the world a better place?” He discusses how social marketing addresses these questions in 14 chapters, using theories, research, examples, case studies, and his extensive personal experience in social marketing for more than 25 years, both nationally and internationally. He depicts social marketing as a discipline, with a variety of viewpoints and models, and with a rich research base underlying the discipline...
Each chapter contains learning objectives, a summary, key terms, and discussion questions, which will be especially useful for academicians and trainers. Information in the book will be valuable to academicians because it presents a marketing perspective on how to approach health and social puzzles, and promotes using marketing in related research studies. For students, the book is a model for critical thinking about marketing and social change. For change agents, the book provides tools that are relevant immediately. And for managers, the book will be useful in designing, implementing, and evaluating their programs from a marketing point of view. Ultimately, the goal is for the reader to have a much broader understanding of marketing than just the four Ps, and to understand what is currently important in social marketing, what will matter for the next few years, and (most of all) what will improve the reader’s “. . . ability to innovate solutions to ‘wicked’ problems."
If you've been wondering whether to invest the time and money to read it, hopefully this may reassure you that the book is worth the hedonic opportunity costs (what fun things you could have been doing instead).
There will also be a limited number of copies on sale at the USF Social Marketing Conference 20-21 June in Clearwater Beach, FL if you'd like to meet and talk about it with me then.
You can read the entire review by clicking on the link below.
There is also a free online trial of both Health Promotion Practice and Health Education & Behavior going on now through the end of May, 2014. For more information about the free trial.
Olson, S.J. (2014). Social Marketing and Social Change: Strategies and Tools for Health, Well-Being, and the Environment (Book and Media Review). Health Promotion Practice, 15:309-312.