Health Issues Focus of Social Marketing Conference

Monday, 31 May 2010

NUI Galway will hold their second annual Social Marketing Conference entitled Making it Happen – Changing Behaviours and Changing Policies on Friday, 4 June in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. In these demanding times, insights into enabling, encouraging and supporting human behaviour from Social Marketing provides new ways to successfully tackle social and public issues in, for example, health, the environment, the community, and policy formulation. Social marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social Marketing has already had considerable success in tackling issues such as obesity, smoking, cancer screening, recycling and road safety in countries including the USA, Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia. For example, Social Marketing underpinned the recent Get Your Life in Gear Safefood intervention to tackle male obesity for truck drivers in a work setting across Ireland, resulting in positive behavioural change around food choices and physical activity. The leading world authority on Social Marketing, Professor Gerard Hastings, and Director with the Institute for Social Marketing will draw from his 30 plus years of practical experience in the field to deliver the keynote addresses at the event. In recent years Professor Hastings has acted as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organisation on tobacco and alcohol marketing, as well as blinding trachoma, and a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee during their enquiries into the tobacco and food industries. He provides regular guidance on social and critical marketing to the Scottish, UK and European Parliaments. Professor Hastings has also acted as an expert witness in litigation against the tobacco industry and was awarded an OBE in the Queen s Birthday Honours List 2009 for his services to healthcare. Dr Christine Domegan, conference organiser and Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway explains: "For those new to the field, the conference will provide a comprehensive introduction to Social Marketing, encouraging participants to consider the scope for using marketing principles and techniques to effect social change and fundamentally alter the way we live for the better. It will demonstrate how professionals, seeking to bring about behavioural and social change, can apply it to practical situations in Ireland". Among the other keynote speakers at the conference are: Dr Ray Lowry, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, UK; Professor Jeff French, CEO, Strategic Social Marketing and former director of National Social Marketing Centre, UK; Dr Sally Pears, Bangor University, Wales and "Food Dudes" Healthy Eating Programme; and Professor Paulo Moreira, Deputy Head of the Health Communication Unit, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). To register, or for further details, contact Valerie Parker on 091 495971 or email valerie.parker@nuigalway.ie.
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