Nedra Kine Weinreich 0:02
So, I would say the biggest issue that I see in campaigns that are trying to reduce stigma, whether it's around mental health issues or any other kind of stigmatised issue is you want to avoid the S word, which is stigma.
Ruth Dale 0:21
We interrupt this episode just to remind you that Behaviour Change Marketing Bootcamp is back. The next session is on the 31st of October, you can head over to www.behaviourchange.marketing/bootcamp for the details. Now, let's get into the episode.
Ruth Dale 0:39
Hello, you're listening to the behaviour change Marketing Bootcamp podcast. I'm your host, Ruth Dale. And this is where busy comms and marketing pros come to learn how to use behavioural science design thinking and other cool stuff to shift out of awareness into action to really focus in on improving health and influencing positive behaviours. With over 20 years experience of doing just that across Public Health England, some of the biggest campaigns such as Change4Life, as well as working in a busy NHS hospital with zero budget, I completely get how hard it can be to use this very clever stuff when you're working frontline and juggling. So in our episodes, we do lots of how to's and talk to some people who succeeded, share case studies and talk to authors to bring you the latest research and hot tips so you can accelerate your impact. Okay, let's dive in.
Ruth Dale 1:36
Hello, we are delighted to welcome into the studio today, Nedra Kline Weinreich. Nedra is president and founder of Weinreich Communications and she has more than 25 years experience in helping nonprofits and other public agencies create positive change in health and social care issues. Now Nedra really focuses in on social marketing, and in today's episode, we're going to dive deep into an incredible mental health campaign she ran. But before we do, I just want to take a second to introduce her a little bit more to you. Because I want everyone to know that you couldn't be hearing from anyone more expert in social marketing. So Nedra works with incredible clients such as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Federation of Red Cross the Red Crescent societies and Microsoft. She is author of the widely used book Hands on Social Marketing a Step by Step Guide to Designing Change for Good. She has taught courses on social marketing at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health and Georgetown University. And plus, she has trained 1000s of professionals through her social marketing university training series. And she is on the editorial board for social marketing quarterly. And she served as a member of the Board of Directors for the international social marketing association. And she was also the founder of the Transmedia for Good Network. And plus, finally, she earned her master's degree in health and social behaviour from the Harvard School of Public Health. So that's absolutely incredible. She now lives in Jerusalem, Israel with her family. So there is no one better qualified that we could talk to dive deep into a social marketing lead campaign about mental health and Nedra. So welcome, Nedra.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 3:26
Thank you for those very kind words. I appreciate all the nice things you said.
Ruth Dale 3:31
I just think it's really important for listeners, because hopefully, they're leaning in a bit more now. But also, they won't necessarily know you. So, you know, they have to know just how good these tips and advice around crafting conversations around mental health is. It's such an important subject. So to get to know you just a little bit better. We've got some quick fire round questions. So don't overthink and actually I'm hoping they're applicable because some people will say oh, neither, but let's go for it anyway. So Nedra What do you prefer coffee or tea?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 4:03
Both. I start with coffee in the morning and then I switched to herbal tea in the afternoon.
Ruth Dale 4:08
Oh okay. scones with jam on top or scones with cream on top.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 4:14
I'm an American. I don't have a preference. I like scones and I've had them plain and they've been really good.
Ruth Dale 4:25
As an American. Have you heard of this rivalry between Devon and Cornwall about which way it goes?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 4:31
I have because I follow a lot of people in the UK on social media but to me it doesn't matter.
Ruth Dale 4:43
Okay, seasons What do you prefer summer or winter?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 4:46
Definitely summer summer summer. My favourite season. I like hot.
Ruth Dale 4:51
Okay, favourite holiday of the year?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 4:54
That's a hard one. When I was in the US Thanksgiving was my favourite and now I'm in Israel, it's really hard to choose. I love all the different Jewish holidays for different reasons. But what I really love is that the whole country comes together and celebrates together. It's really nice.
Ruth Dale 5:11
Oh, wonderful, fabulous. I've only ever seen thanksgiving on the Friends episode. It would just be so good to be over there one time at thanksgiving to see it's just like on the TV. Every comedy series has a Thanksgiving episode, doesn't it? Does everyone really just watch the football?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 5:33
In some families. Yeah, I'm not a big foot person.
Ruth Dale 5:37
That's like boxing day over here, though. It's fun. All the football happens in the day after Christmas. And I have two young boys. So sadly, that is my life.
Ruth Dale 5:49
When we were talking, the other week, we were chatting about the world of social marketing. And we've known each other within that world for a while, but I was explaining that in England, it's not as big as it used to be. So when we started out like 10 years ago is huge. And the words behaviour change and behavioural science have kind of overshadowed a bit. So it's really useful if we start today, in 60 seconds, could you please define what social marketing is?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 6:16
Sure. So social marketing is basically an approach that adapts commercial marketing tools and techniques to influence the adoption of behaviours, and specifically behaviours for social good. So that could be helping people become healthier or better off in their lives in some way. Or it could be around improving society or helping the environment. And social marketing is all about positioning the behaviour to align with something that people want, reaching them where they are, and making it as easy as possible for them to take action. And it's all based on research with our intended audience, we want to understand what are the factors that influence their behaviour and the context they're making decisions in? So that's a quick intro.
Ruth Dale 7:03
That's perfect. So just to sort of tease out it is not necessarily a social media campaign, it can use social media, yes, yes. But it's not default. Let's run a social media campaign.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 7:16
That's right. And this is an issue that's been around since maybe 2006 2007. With the rise of social media, people started calling that the social media marketing, social marketing, and has caused a lot of confusion since then. So the difference is that social marketing is a comprehensive approach. It goes beyond just communications or a specific tactic. It involves analysing behaviour and designing a campaign or a programme around your audience. And like you said, we do use social media as part of that. But that's just a tiny part of what we do in social marketing.
Ruth Dale 7:55
How is it different from a general Behavioural Insights approach?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 8:00
So a lot of people who come from that more academic or theoretical behavioural science background, or whose first introduction to behaviour change is that long list of cognitive biases that you see from behavioural economics, I'm sure you've seen those biases
Ruth Dale 8:18
Yes hundreds of them.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 8:20
Yeah, so they use a very different kind of approach than how we do it in social marketing. So for those who use behavioural insights, a typical process might be, first you identify the behaviour that you think people should be doing, you come up with that list of biases to decide which you think is probably most relevant. You design an intervention around that. And then you do a randomised controlled trial to see were you Right? Or were you wrong. So it's very different from how we do things in social marketing.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 8:53
In social marketing. It's a very systematic process based on research with your intended audience in order to understand what their decision making context is.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 9:03
And then once you have that understanding, then you go into developing your strategy and your intervention. So we do that formative research with our audience through focus groups, or surveys or interviews. We do that upfront to make sure that when we do launch the intervention or the campaign, that we're addressing the specific motivators or barriers that we have heard from our audience, or the things that influence whether they buy our product, which are in social marketing, our product is behaviour.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 9:37
And then once we develop materials based on that, then we go ahead and test it with more members of the audience before we launch, so it's, it's really all about finding out what's likely to work up front rather than taking a guess and then testing it.
Ruth Dale 9:53
Okay, fabulous. Thank you. Because I think it's really important if you're really busy and you actually workin on change programmes - at the World Social Marketing Conference last year, I used to call them the secret social marketers. We used to have a campaign in England called The Secret lemonade drinker. And as everyone was talking, I just thought the whole time, oh, my goodness, I know so many practitioners who are using social marketing techniques, but not necessarily knowing that you know, the phrase, or that's the kind of process that they're following. It's just call it behaviour change process. So yeah, that's incredibly helpful. I think it's really reassuring to people that they don't have to go out and learn 200 odd cognitive biases in order to start influencing behaviours, because I love loads of them. I love them all. And we always talk about them. But you don't have to hold them, you know, in your head as so remember all those things is enough to know. So having the systematic process that social marketing offers, actually reduces a lot of stress
Nedra Kine Weinreich 10:53
You're finding out directly from the people you're trying to reach, what are their barriers? What are the issues? So it's not just taking a guess.
Ruth Dale 11:02
Yeah, fabulous. And so that'll take us on really nicely to your social marketing campaign. And it was called Take Action for Mental Health. And it was a help seeking campaign encouraging people to seek help. Could you please share the background on that and what it was about? And, you know, just tell us why it was so successful?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 11:23
Sure, yeah. So this was a statewide campaign in California, funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority. And we're just going into the second phase of development now. So we got evaluation results from from the first phase, and I'll talk about that in a moment. But it's really exciting, because we did find that what we were doing was effective. So I've been working with an agency that's called Civilian, they're based in San Diego for this state agency. And this campaign was the extension of a social marketing campaign that was started back in maybe 2011. Or so it was a major statewide initiative with a lot of different pieces, in addition to the social marketing. And the goal was to reduce stigma throughout the whole state, stigma around mental illness and around help seeking specifically. And so that campaign ended several years ago. And they started up funding for a new one. And that campaign had been evaluated by the RAND Corporation, which also did our evaluation. But the data that they had collected really was helpful in guiding us towards what we should be focusing on with this new campaign that we were doing, it was kind of an evolution of what had happened before. And that campaign had been quite successful in building knowledge around mental illness and in reducing stigma.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 12:58
But we found that more needed to be done to then move that knowledge into action. Okay, so people knew, knew they knew the information, but they weren't necessarily doing things as a result.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 13:11
So one of the key things we learned from that research was that stigma at that point was not the main barrier that was keeping people from accessing mental health help when they needed it. The main issue was that people weren't recognising when they were having mental health related symptoms or problems. And recognising that those were things that could be treated through mental health treatment, through therapy through other kinds of support.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 13:39
We also in addition to that survey, did a lot of qualitative research with our audience throughout the state. So a lot of people said it was easier to recognise those kinds of mental health issues in other people than it was in themselves. So this confirmed that we really needed to focus on recognition and help seeking as the things that we needed to do with with this new campaign. And well, our charge was to reach everyone in the whole state.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 14:12
It's a big state and it had a focus on specific ethnic groups and underserved communities. So it was big, and we needed to figure out a way to kind of narrow it down because as you know, the more specific you can get about the people that you're trying to reach, the more effective you'll be your messaging and reaching them.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 14:33
So we decided to target two groups, those who are experiencing mental health problems at the moment, and those who have a friend or loved one who they thought were experiencing problems. So we developed a strategy that focused on encouraging people to take action and in fact, like you said, that's the name of the campaign take action for mental health.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 15:00
And we had a tagline where we boiled down what we wanted people to do, it was check in, learn more get support. So check in on yourself how you're feeling, check in with others on how they're doing mentally learn more about mental health, the signs of mental illness, self care you can do, what types of support are available, and then get support. And that's through accessing local resources by making an appointment, or by reaching out to someone you know, to ask for help if you need help with your mental health, as we were focusing on.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 15:37
I think part of why we were so successful is we were very clear about the actions we wanted people to take. And we developed a lot of different practical tools to help them with skill building and getting around the barriers that they had things like not knowing how to bring up the topic of mental health with someone they were worried about. So like we had materials on how do you do a check in chat with someone else, that sort of thing. And so we primarily used digital outreach to reach our audiences.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 16:11
But we also worked very closely with the county behavioural health departments. In California, there's 58 counties. So they're the ones who are the on the ground providers of mental health services and resources. So working through them, we were able to also reach a lot of people. Another reason why I think we were so successful was we had a parallel Spanish language campaign, because 40% of California residents are Latino.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 16:46
Yeah, so we really needed to make sure that we were reaching them as well. And we indeed did end up reaching a higher proportion of Spanish speakers with the campaign than English speakers, which was fantastic. Yeah. And then, so, like I said, we had an evaluation done by RAND Corporation to see if we were effective in making change. And it did show that those who were exposed to the campaign had higher levels of knowledge, positive attitudes, and help seeking behaviours. So that was pretty exciting to find out.
Ruth Dale 17:23
Yeah, that's absolutely fantastic. Because it's such a complicated issue. But I think you really highlight the importance of evaluation. Because you had it the evaluation from the first one, you were able to really build and focus and shift the needle into action. And you just can't do that. If you're not evaluating. If you're not at least getting something from your work.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 17:49
Yeah, that's right. And not everyone can afford the RAND Corporation level evaluation, but you got to do something, you need to be tracking and talking to people and finding out how your campaigns being perceived.
Ruth Dale 18:04
And I loved the idea of a check in chat. We did some work with Dorset MIND - MIND are our national mental health charity - focusing on men and mental health and their barriers. And it was so similar to what you just said about is actually not the stigma. It was the conversational tools that, - I don't know what words to use really - tips that can really help people go quite a long way. It's not that they don't want to it's not that they're embarrassed, they just haven't got the words on the end of their tongue to know how to do that. So the fact you went on and made those resources, absolutely fantastic.
Ruth Dale 18:41
And I bet when you were doing it, of course, because mental health is so complicated, there were kind of loads of things that could go wrong and backfire with language. And I think anyone working in this area would really appreciate any tips or a learning that you've got from that end, don't do this for them.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 18:58
Yeah. So I would say the biggest issue that I see in campaigns that are trying to reduce stigma, whether it's around mental health issues, or any other kind of stigmatised issue is you want to avoid the S word, which is stigma. If you keep talking about how there's a stigma to mental illness, or to getting treatment, and that we need to remove the stigma, what that actually does is reinforce that there's a stigma.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 19:29
We shouldn't be talking about the stigma over and over again. And I'm not talking about avoiding talking about stigma in like a professional context. Of course, we still need to explicitly talk about it in order to design programmes that are going to eliminate it. But in public facing communications and campaigns. I definitely recommend avoiding talking about the fact that stigma exists because people already know that and it's not helpful to point it out.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 20:00
Ah, that's absolutely brilliant tip. Oh my goodness, because that was, of course, one of the big things that does, you know, everyone does sort of focus on the why why it's important. Yeah, stop the stigma. Stop talking about the stigma.
Ruth Dale 20:15
Because we were talking about cognitive biases that does remind me of the negative social norms bias, you know, we just reinforcing the negative, right and not the solution. Right?
Ruth Dale 20:25
Oh, brilliant. And, and I know that you mentioned some work you did around being able to talk about suicide prevention as well, how we can get more effective talking around that area, because that's, I think people get very nervous when talking about suicide prevention. And over here, we have quite an aggressive press that would like to lead suicide stories quite negatively, or, you know, really overdramatize really not in the public best interest most of the time. And again, it is a subject that makes people nervous, but one that's so so important when doing communications
Nedra Kine Weinreich 21:03
Yes, so when we're communicating about suicide prevention, we definitely have to be careful with our words, and our framing, so it doesn't backfire. We don't want to be talking about how there's an epidemic of suicide. So many people are dying by suicide, because that normalises it that makes it seem like it's a valid option to take, because so many other people are doing it? Why shouldn't I do it too, if I'm feeling like, this is something that I want to do.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 21:32
So what we really want to do in suicide prevention communications, is use a positive framing, of hope and help. So hope that, you know, there are things you can do to prevent suicide, there are effective programmes and services help is available, and that sort of thing. And also for suicide prevention. And also for mental health, the best way to make the stigma go away in terms of talking about things is to do it in a very straightforward way. Like you'd talk about any kind of health or life related topic, making it a normal part of conversation to check in with people ask how they're doing to talk about your own mental health. That's how people get more comfortable discussing it and making it more of a social norm to check in on each other asked about mental health issues, and just building those norms around around discussing it and not hiding it.
Ruth Dale 22:33
And have you got a toolkit on this. I seem to recall, you have written a wonderful toolkit that perhaps could help people.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 22:41
Yes, I was involved with in the US, there's something called the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which is a public private partnership, I was part of a team that designed a framework for effective suicide prevention messaging, that gives lots of tips on how to talk about it in an effective way and in a way that's not going to backfire.
Ruth Dale 23:01
I'll put that in the show notes for people. Because it's really brilliant, I have spent some time in it. And there are really practical, and most of them are completely applicable. You know, we're all humans. So the fact that it is not written here doesn't make it any less relevant. So I'll put that in the show notes. And also, because you mentioned your courses and things on social marketing, you have got the most amazing book, haven't you that is free on your website, for anyone that would like to know a little bit more about social marketing. They want to get into it in a more systematic way. And again, that is brilliant. I personally love it, because it was really marketing focused. It goes beyond promotion, it's like, we're not just about promotion, there's more than Well, there's more than four P's in marketing. But even if you just start with the four P's, then, you know there's so much more to think about and it makes it say you're on your way. Yeah, where would they go to get?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 23:56
The link is something that probably would be better for you to try to include in the show notes. I mean, my website is social-marketing.com. You can get it there too. But the direct link you can use as well stick that in there.
Ruth Dale 24:12
Wonderful. Thank you so so much for coming on. Incredibly helpful, really important point about stop talking about the stigma. Anyone who wants to get some inspiration, check out the Take Action for Mental Health campaign, and see how it is reaching underserved groups - that is so important over here as well. And you did that so brilliantly. So get some inspiration on that one, and get your toolkit and then the free ebook.
Ruth Dale 24:37
But we always like to finish Nedra on asking people what one book would you recommend? And we we asked for it to be a book that changed your life. So is there a book that changed your life you'd like to recommend?
Nedra Kine Weinreich 24:49
I don't think there's a book that changed my life but in terms of the work I do one of my favourite books that I keep coming back to that I would recommend is Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It's a great guide to how to design your messages in a way that they'll be memorable and shareable. And I love all of the Heath brothers books. They're all excellent. But this is the one that I just keep coming back to. And it's the one that stuck with me.
Ruth Dale 25:20
I like it. Oh, fabulous. Okay, we'll pop that in the show notes as well. That's a brand new and we haven't had that one before. Thank you so much. And thank you for taking time to come on and share your wonderful campaign with us. It's a pleasure.
Nedra Kine Weinreich 25:33
Thanks so much for having me.
Ruth Dale 25:39
Thank you so much for listening. We're so delighted you joined us and if you got any value out of this at all, or even if you just simply had a little chuckle. Please do share it with anyone you think it may benefit