How to reach “masses” when mass media are not available? Follow the money!

Ann JimersonTina Sanghvi, and Silvia AlayónALIVE & THRIVE

Quick. I say “mass media campaign” and you name the “media” that come to mind: _____.

Not so long ago, you would likely have answered “TV and radio.” With “new media” abounding, broadcast TV and radio are now relegated to “traditional media.” But what about when technology—even electricity—lags. What does “mass media” mean then?

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Don’t forget about dad: Six strategies for getting fathers more involved in child feeding

ANN JIMERSONBEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALISTALIVE & THRIVEFHI 360

Whether he’s aware of his influence or not, almost every father in every culture influences his family’s choices about how to feed the children. His everyday decisions about how many of the eggs the family’s chickens lay will be sold at market and how many will be kept at home for the family to eat can make the difference between a stunted child and one who reaches his or her full growth potential.

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Like talking to a friend

ANN JIMERSONBEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALISTALIVE & THRIVEFHI 360

An article in a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine sped throughout our organization, FHI 360. The surgeon and writer Atul Gawande wrote “Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t?”  The e-mail traffic about this article made me curious about why the article itself was spreading so fast.

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What if we were as strategic in designing interpersonal communication as we are for mass media?

ANN JIMERSONBEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALISTALIVE & THRIVE,FHI 360

I love a tightly designed mass media product.  It shows a discipline I admire.  And I am also a true believer in the power of interpersonal and community communication.

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In Viet Nam, Alive & Thrive could reach hundreds of thousands of people with interpersonal communication – but to reach millions, our country team determined that we needed mass media, primarily TV.  Continue reading

Re-electing a U.S. president and promoting a health behavior: What do these have in common?

ANN JIMERSONBEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALISTALIVE & THRIVE,FHI 360

As the U.S. turns to President Obama’s inauguration, we at Alive & Thrive reflect on what re-electing a U.S. president and promoting a health behavior may have in common:

Being precise about which behavior you need to promote 

Obama’s door-to-door canvassing effort was clear in its behavioral objective. Rather than knocking all doors to persuade undecided voters to support Obama, volunteer canvassers were directed, through a carefully constructed database, to the homes of people who had already indicated they were pro-Obama. The behavioral objective was to make sure those likely Democrat voters would “go to the polls and vote.” Continue reading

A product that pretty much sells itself: Packaging our field experience so it’s irresistible

ANN JIMERSONBEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALISTALIVE & THRIVE,FHI 360

While working on a U.S.-based project on obesity, I’d had a gratifying experience with concept testing. It confirmed what I’d thought for a long time – that concept testing, or trying a variety of concepts or message approaches with real audience members, can help you hone in on messages that really resonate. Continue reading