Florida Prevention Research Center and Colleagues Publish Article on New Social Marketing Objectives in Healthy People 2020

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The Florida Prevention Research Center (FPRC) is the national lead for measuring several new objectives on disease prevention and health promotion. Since 1998, the FPRC has been a worldwide leader in social marketing. Now the FPRC is leading a nationwide effort to increase social marketing in public health settings.


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The FPRC and colleagues recently published an article in International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing entitled: “Assessment of social marketing education, training, and application in public health settings.” The paper details findings from the authors’ work in estimating the application of, as well as education and training opportunities available in, social marketing in the US.

The research was conducted in response to three new objectives in Healthy People 2020—the federal initiative that provides 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Health Communication and Health Information Technology Objective 13 reads: “(Developmental) Increase social marketing in health promotion and disease prevention.” The work is especially significant as most Healthy People objectives are measured by federal agencies rather than a school of public health.

As a result of the work, the objective for state health departments has recently been revised to target all 50 states as users of social marketing. According to Prof. Craig Lefebvre, one of the paper’s lead authors:

The challenge for the field in the US is clear – accelerate adoption … This means not only promoting the objective to our colleagues in the public sector, but also designing new training and education products and services for students and practitioners, incorporating social marketing approaches into emerging public health policies and practices…and not surrendering the position that social marketing is about serving people, not using technologies.

The USF College of Public Health is the parent organization for the Florida Prevention Research Center (FPRC). Its mission is to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based approaches to strengthen community capacity for sustained disease prevention and health promotion. The Florida Prevention Research Center is designated as one of 37 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Centers in the nation funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Department of Community and Family Health is the academic home for the FPRC.  The department offers more than 10 concentrations that lead to MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well as dual degrees, special programs, and an online graduate certificate in social marketing

Submitted by Tali Schneider, MPH, USF College of Public Health