USF hosts international Social Marketing Conference, June 17-18

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The Social Marketing Conference enters its 24th year with a continued and vigorous commitment to social marketing’s robust capacity to influence complex social problems. Based at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, FL, the June 17-18 conference includes plenary sessions, interactive panels and focused collaborative sessions.


Some of the attendees at the 2013 Social Marketing Conference.

Carol Bryant, PhD, MS, director of USF’s Florida Prevention Research Center and founder of the Social Marketing Conference, is a major presenter and trainer. According to Bryant, social marketing has potential applications in myriad fields, including environmental studies, sustainability, transportation, financial literacy, education, not-for-profit management, labor relations, engineering, public health, and health care. “These and many other fields can benefit from social marketing’s consumer-centered, strategic approach to influencing change,” she said.

A USF Health distinguished professor in the Department of Community and Family Health, Bryant explains why this year’s conference will be extra special. “While global inequality has lessened over the past century, more recent times have shown a marked increase in inequality in finances, health, political access, and social mobility,” she said. “This year’s theme, “Building on the Legacy: Forging New Paths,” looks at these pressing contemporary issues and how the field can lead the way in creating new solutions. This conference looks to the new challenges and solutions which social marketing is called to engage.”

The conference is divided into two sections, with a training component June 15-16, then the main conference on June 17-18.

Newcomers to the field are encouraged to attend the Social Marketing Training Academy in addition to the main conference. This two-day intensive pre-conference training offers participants an opportunity to gain social marketing expertise in a concentrated time frame. Using a combination of live case studies and interactive group exercises, academy trainers help participants understand how to increase the impact of behavioral change by learning the core elements of a successful social marketing initiative.


Dr. Carol Bryant (right) presents Sahilja Mathur (left) with her certificate of completion at the 2014 Social Marketing Training Academy.

The main conference consists of plenary sessions with national leaders in education, design and organizational development; panel presentations and conversations that focus on a variety of topics relevant to the practice, application and dissemination of social marketing; continuing professional development; and, collaboratories—facilitated discussions designed to dive more deeply into emerging issues and explore ways to apply innovative ideas for social marketing education, training and practice.

Additionally, examples of social marketing practice and research will be showcased during a poster walk and reception.

Plenary Speakers include:

• Phil D. Harvey, founder of DKT International
• Dr. Punam Keller, professor of management, Tuck Business School, Dartmouth University
• Dr. William “Bill” Smith, president of Making Change4U
• Dr. Fiona Spotswood, senior lecturer at University of the West of England
• Dr. Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, president of ANZMAC and professor at Griffith University
• Jeffrey Jordan, president and executive creative director of Rescue Social Change Group

For additional information on the Social Marketing Conference and to register, visit or contact Ms. Tali Schneider at

Related story:
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Story by Anna Mayor, USF College of Public Health