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Health Advocacy

A Communication Approach


Marifran Mattson and Chervin Lam

There is growing emphasis in Health Communication on the study of communication processes that aim to change systems, policies, beliefs, attitudes, and/or behaviors for the betterment of the health of individuals and communities. Engagement on behalf of individual and community health is the basis of health advocacy - the attempted effort to change health policies so that better health outcomes may result.
This book explores the processes and strategies involved in creating a health advocacy campaign to guide current and aspiring health advocates to successfully advocate for policy change.
The Health Communication Advocacy Model is provided as a framework for exploring these issues. The model emphasizes the message design process, particularly in the tailoring of messages to address the needs of target audiences. However, consideration of important health advocacy concepts also is provided, including how to organize an advocacy team, approaches to formative research, research-based strategies for crafting effective health advocacy messages, and recommendations for what to do when an advocacy campaign is ending. This framework is designed for users to execute an advocacy effort for any health issue – from obesity, to cancer and smoking - in an efficient and effective manner.
Ultimately, readers will learn how to lead a successful advocacy campaign and accomplish their desired advocacy goals.
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Chapter 7. Marketing Mix

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In 1971, Kotler and Zaltman ushered in a new wave of campaign research and practice when they introduced the concept of social marketing. Previously, marketing mostly was thought about in the context of businesses selling goods to consumers. Kotler and Zaltman’s concept of social marketing changed this perspective as the authors applied marketing strategies for the purposes of generating social action. Thus, instead of persuading consumers to purchase goods, social marketing involves persuading people to take social action, such as donating to charities, engaging in healthier lifestyles, or supporting an advocacy effort.

The marketing mix is a term which describes the aspects of social marketing which are most important for achieving a successful social marketing endeavor, and sometimes it is referred to as the four Ps. The marketing mix is composed of product, price, placement, and promotion. Because social marketing is about persuading people to take social action, the importance of incorporating the marketing mix into advocacy messages is essential. In this chapter, each element of the marketing mix will be defined and examples will be presented accordingly.

Product in the marketing mix refers to the recommended social action and how it is presented to target audiences. In the context of health advocacy, the product would be the notion of supporting the advocacy effort. For example, an advocacy team may have “support prosthetic parity” as its product. One may imagine the banners that often appear in advocacy campaigns as the advertisements for the advocacy product. In...

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