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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Speak to me: using social marketing to enhance involvement : among 18-35 year olds in the public participation process Carvalho, Nadia V.

Abstract

Public participation in the development of the Official Community Plan has become a commonplace concept. The techniques that we use have evolved over the last 25 years. Planners need to further develop these techniques to enhance their effectiveness. It is important that planners are effective at educating and engaging the public in the search for creative solutions for some of the challenges facing communities today. It is especially important that these techniques speak to those between the ages of 18-34 because they are the ones who will be buying homes and forming families, actions, when aggregated, have the power to shape and reshape our cities. Both the health and environmental movements have successfully used social marketing for years. Social marketing attempts to influence behaviour for the common good. Social marketing has proven to be successful at changing behaviour and this can be partially attributed to its customer orientation. The primary tenet of social marketing is to understand and build a relationships with customers on their terms. This thesis argues that it is time for planners to understand and build relationships with residents on their terms using a social marketing framework. Case studies from environmental, health advocacy and political groups detail innovative campaigns which were designed to engage a younger audience and remove any barriers a participant might face when trying to take action. The characteristics that these campaigns share provide interesting lessons for planners wishing to do the same for their public participation strategies.

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