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Social Marketing Campaign to Sweep the State

By Michael Brott, Communications Manager

Direct education and policy, systems, and environment work are at the core of SNAP Education. In addition to the program’s traditional individual or group-based classes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) expects states to incorporate into their SNAP-Ed plans at least one other broad-based approach to nutrition education. A multilevel approach is encouraged in order to reach a larger segment of the SNAP-eligible population.

One way that FNS suggests achieving this goal is through social marketing campaigns. The implementation of targeted social marketing campaigns offers an opportunity to transform our current efforts into more innovative and potentially more effective approaches to program delivery.

So what is social marketing?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define it as “the use of marketing principles to influence human behavior in order to improve health or benefit society." (Read more from What is Health Communications?)

Oregon State University Extension's Food Hero social marketing campaign was designed to
increase fruit and vegetable consumption by SNAP-eligible Oregon moms with kids living in their homes.

For our SNAP-Ed program, the content of a social marketing campaign aligns with our goals of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and increasing physical activity. Starting in Fall 2015, a team of EEs, H&N and SNAP-Ed leadership, regional coordinators and SNAP-Ed educators, Karen Shirer and myself, explored campaigns conducted by other states, and reviewed the literature and best practices. This spring and summer, Family Development staff will work in partnership with a marketing and technical assistance agency to plan the development and evaluation of a new statewide social marketing campaign. While the campaign will focus on SNAP-Ed goals, there is much to be learned and shared across all of FD. Stay tuned!

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