Social Marketing
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APHA Media Advocacy Manual*PDF (PDF-76k)
A manual from the American Public Health Association about advocacy and relationships with the media.


The Basics of Social MarketingPDF (PDF-1Mb)
Turning Point’s resource is one in a series of four documents available for public health professionals on social marketing. It provides a basic description of social marketing, strategic questions to use when planning, key concepts of social marketing, a case study, and a list of resources.

BRFSS: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
CDC's BRFSS is the world’s largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. Conducted by the 50 state health departments as well as those in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands with support from the CDC, BRFSS provides state-specific information about issues such as asthma, diabetes, health care access, alcohol use, hypertension, obesity, cancer screening, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco use, and more. Data are also available on a community level in selected areas.

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Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.
A database or web portal which provides access for public health professionals to see evidence-based cancer control programs. Also provides resources and data that can be used to design, implement, and evaluate those programs.

CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition, Version 2.0
CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition is a training and decision-support tool designed to help public health professionals systematically plan social marketing programs within a health context. It contains case examples illustrating the social marketing planning approach and a wealth of reference resources and materials. The enhanced Version 2.0 retains the popular features of the original, and adds a "test your knowledge" feature, more step by step support and user friendly interface, greater interactivity, global search capabilities and updated and streamlined content.
Available online, or you may purchase a CD-ROM version from*

CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition, Version 2.0: A Primer for Managers
CDCynergy is a training and decision-support tool designed to help public health professionals systematically plan social marketing programs within a health context. The "Primer for Managers," found under the "Introduction to Social Marketing" section, describes how social marketing is different from traditional planning approaches in each of the phases.
Available online, or you may purchase a CD-ROM version from*

Choosing Audience Segment Worksheet DOC(DOC-30k)
Worksheet used to decide between multiple audience segments.

Community Toolbox*
The Community Toolbox from the University of Kansas is designed to bring resources and knowledge to public health practitioners. A few examples of chapters in the toolbox are: community assessment, developing strategic plans, group facilitation and problem-solving, choosing and adapting community interventions, changing policies, evaluating community programs, and planning for long-term institutionalization.

Community Toolbox Chapter on Media Advocacy*
The Community Toolbox from the University of Kansas is designed to bring resources and knowledge to public health practitioners. Chapters in the toolbox are on various topics. The chapter on media advocacy includes sections on working with the media, building relationships with the media, creating useful news stories, using paid advertising, meeting the media, and changing the media’s perspective on community issues.

Components of a Logic ModelPDF (PDF-240k)
PDF from the Physical Activity Evaluation handbook describing the components of a basic logic model.

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Doer/Non-Doer Analysis*
This resource from the Academy for Educational Development (AED) can help you determine the best way to segment a target audience. This analysis compares those who are doing the behavior to those who are not and helps you find key differences between groups.

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Evaluation Guide: Developing and Using a Logic Model
CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention created this general overview of the development and use of logic models as planning and evaluation tools.

Evaluation Guides (SMART Objectives, Evaluation Plan Development)
CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention assembled this information on writing SMART objectives for program planning.

Evaluation Logic Models Selected BibliographyPDF (PDF-36k)
CDC's list of resources from the CDC evaluation working group about logic models in program evaluation.

Evaluation Relevance document from CDCynergyPDF (PDF-240k)
Lists evaluation tips throughout the six phases in the social marketing planning process, from CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition.

Examples of Audience Descriptions and ProfilesPDF (PDF-110k)
Provides three examples of various types of audience descriptions and profiles.

Example of Physical Activity Logic ModelPDF (PDF-208k)
Page from the Physical Activity Evaluation Handbook describing a sample logic model for the KidsWalk-to-School program.

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The Focus Group Kit
Morgan DL, Krueger RA. The focus group kit: Volumes 1-6. 1998. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
The kit includes The Focus Group Guidebook; Planning Focus Groups; Developing Questions for Focus Groups; Moderating Focus Groups; Involving Community Members in Focus Groups; Analyzing & Reporting Focus Group Results.

Formative Research Questions Worksheet DOC (DOC-40k)
Worksheet used to identify what is known and what is not known about key decisions with the purpose of choosing research questions for formative research.

Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health
CDC's practical, non-prescriptive tool, designed to summarize and organize essential elements of program evaluation. The framework lists steps in program evaluation practice and standards for effective program evaluation.

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Gap Analysis Questions Worksheet DOC (DOC-29k)
This worksheet is used to determine whether to keep or let go of a gap to be filled during formative research.

General Guidelines for Focus Groups PDF (PDF-29k)
This resource provides some tips on conducting focus groups, specifically providing information in areas where people tend to have difficulties or problems.

Georgia Case Study
Georgia has used the entire social marketing process, step-by-step. Their case provides an example of how the social marketing process can be used to design a new intervention. They are working to influence African American tweens’ behaviors around active play outside of school and choosing healthy snacks and beverages.

Georgia Table PDF (PDF-37k)
This sample table is used by Georgia to report formative research findings.

Goals & SMART Objectives Tuturial
CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health created this tutorial to help you write goals and SMART objectives.

Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions
The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions provides state and local community members information to choose the breastfeeding intervention strategy that best meets their needs. Support for breastfeeding is needed in many different arenas, including worksites, medical systems, and family settings. The Guide builds upon the research evidence demonstrating effective interventions as well as the expertise of the nation’s leading scientists and experts in breastfeeding management and interventions.

Guide to Community Preventive Services*
This guide provides evidence-based recommendations for programs and policies to promote population health.

A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy*
Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this guide shows how to measure and evaluate policy change and advocacy.

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A Handbook for Excellence in Focus Group Research*
This handbook describes qualitative research methods including an overview of qualitative research in general. Details include practical advice for completing in depth interviews and focus groups from how to develop questions, how to moderate groups, choosing a moderator, dealing with problems in focus groups, and developing a report once groups have been completed.

Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice
Glanz K, Rimer BK, Lewis FM, eds. Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. 2002. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
The third edition of a public health textbook that describes many health education and health behavior theories.

This Web site is a searchable database containing comprehensive summaries from published peer-reviewed studies related to health communication.

How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-Step Guide
Fink A. How to conduct surveys: A step-by-step guide. 2006. Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage Publications.
This guide provides practical advice for developing and conducting surveys. Topics include when to use surveys, how to develop questions, practical advice for putting surveys together (length, order, branching), sampling, survey design, analyzing data from surveys, and presenting the results.

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Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation
Floyd J, Fowler JR. Improving survey questions: Design and evaluation. 1995. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications.
A book that explains how to write and evaluate survey questions. Topics include general rules for designing good survey instruments and assessing the validity of survey questions.

Institute of Medicine Reports*
The Institute of Medicine provides objective, evidence-based advice for public health professionals and the public on public health issues. Within this Web site are reports created by the Institute of Medicine on a variety of public health topics, including food and nutrition, and childhood obesity.

Issue Topic: Advocacy and Policy Change: Evaluation Exchange, Volume 13(1), Spring 2007*
A special issue in Harvard Family Research Project’s periodical: The Evaluation Exchange covers evaluating advocacy and policy change. Articles include: "What’s different about evaluating advocacy and policy change?" and "Working with logic models to evaluate a policy and advocacy program."

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Kentucky Case Study
Kentucky adapted a national media campaign to influence tweens’ physical activity. This case emphasizes their social marketing process and how they tailored national resources to develop their VERB Summer Scorecard program.

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Logic Model Development Guide*
Instruction on logic models from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Chapters include basics of logic models, developing a logic model, developing a theory-of-change logic model, and using a logic model to plan for evaluation.

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Marketing Public Health: Strategies to Promote Social Change
Siegel M, Doner L. Marketing public health: Strategies to promote social change. 1998. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.
This textbook is broken into two main parts: 1) marketing principles for public health practice, and 2) using marketing principles to design, implement, and evaluate public health interventions. The second part is useful in describing the social marketing planning process in depth with illustrations and examples. Pages 206—215 include a discussion on the marketing mix in both individual-level changes and policy and environmental changes.

Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development, and the Environment
Andreasen A. Marketing social change: Changing behavior to promote health, social development, and the environment. 1995. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
This book provides an overview of social marketing and includes information on the importance of putting the customer first, strategies for segmenting target audiences, and a social marketing strategic management process.

Marketing Social Marketing in the Social Change Marketplace
Andreasen A. Marketing social marketing in the social change marketplace. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. 21:3-13, 2002.
This article addresses the field of social marketing: what it is, what it should be, and how to promote future growth. It includes information on when social marketing is an appropriate approach to take.

Materials Pre-testing Guide PDF (PDF-30k)
This guide provides pre-testing materials including sample objectives with example questions.

Measuring Program or Campaign Exposure
Valente TW. Evaluating health promotion programs. 2002. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 11 of this book deals with measuring program or campaign exposure.

Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention
Wallack L, Dorman L, Jernigan D, and Themba M. Media advocacy and public health. 1993. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
This textbook covers media advocacy and its association with public health. Chapters include information on advocacy, agenda setting, framing, how to do media advocacy, and case studies.

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National Social Marketing Center*
The National Social Marketing Center was founded in England in 2006. The center has commissioned several independent national reviews of social marketing programs and their effectiveness. The Web site also includes many different resources, documents, and presentations available for downloading.

NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)
NHANES is a population-based survey that collects extensive health information from both face-to-face interviews and medical examinations. Data from NHANES surveys have provided unique opportunities to study major nutrition, infection, environmental, and chronic health conditions in the U.S. The NHANES detailed interview includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The examination component consists of medical examinations, physiological measurements, and laboratory tests administered by highly trained medical personnel.

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Obesity Prevention Coordinators’ Social Marketing Guidebook
Developed by the Florida Prevention Research Center at the University of South Florida, the guidebook provides instruction on how to coordinate a social marketing intervention for nutrition, physical activity, or obesity prevention. It includes worksheets, tools, and information to help in the management and coordination of a social marketing program. The guidebook is supplemental to CDCynergy: Social Marketing Edition and adds practical tips and information specific to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Funding for this project was provided by CDC.

Overview of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Intervention Strategies*
UNC-CH Center of Excellence’s Web resource that includes summaries of evidence-based intervention strategies that help public health practitioners identify the best options for planning effective obesity prevention programs. Intervention strategies are summarized and the following information is provided for each strategy: an overview, examples of interventions based on the strategy, summary of the evidence on the strategy’s effectiveness, key considerations for planning, and resources that may be helpful when using the strategy in planning.

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PedNSS (Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System) and PNSS (Pregnancy Surveillance System)
PedNSS and PNSS are program-based surveillance systems that monitor the nutritional status of low-income infants, children, and women in federally funded maternal and child health programs. PedNSS data represent more than 7 million children from birth to age 5. PNSS data represent approximately 750,000 pregnant and postpartum women. These surveillance systems provide data that describe prevalence and trends of nutrition, health, and behavioral indicators for mothers and children.

The Pink Book
Also known as Making Health Communications Programs Work, the Pink Book from the National Cancer Institute is a well-known guide for developing health communication programs. The book guides the reader through the health communication process and communication research.

Planning QuestionsPDF (PDF-89k)
Series of questions useful for knowing what decisions are made throughout the social marketing planning process.

PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System)
PRAMS is a surveillance project of CDC and state health departments. PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy.

Promoting Evidence-Based Public Health Policy
Fielding J, Briss P. Promoting evidence-based public health policy: Can we have better evidence and more action? Health Affairs 2006; 25(4): 969-978.
Article that examines the use of evidence-based tools such as health impact assessments and systematic reviews to inform policy decisions.

Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity Through Social Marketing: Current Practices and Recommendations*
This document examines the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of 50 social marketing campaigns intended to promote better nutritional practices and increased physical activity. Pages 9—25 describe nine theories and models often used in social marketing campaigns.

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Qualitative Data Analysis
Miles MB, Huberman AM. Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. 2nd edition. 1994. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Sourcebook that provides information on many different techniques to analyze qualitative data.

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Research to Practice Series
The Weight Management Research to Practice Series from CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity is designed to summarize the science on a weight management topic for health professionals and the lay audience. An overview of the science is compiled into a summary document appropriate for public health professionals, including implications for practice. In addition, some installments in the series are accompanied by a tool geared toward a lay audience, which can be used by health professionals in practice.

Rosa’s Audience-Behavior Comparison ChartPDF (PDF-105k)
Scenario document illustrating Rosa’s choices for target audience and behavior.

Rosa’s Formative Research Question WorksheetPDF (PDF-69k)
Scenario document illustrating Rosa’s formative research questions.

Rosa’s Problem DescriptionPDF (PDF-61k)
Scenario document illustrating sample problem description for Rosa and her team.

Rosa’s Strategy Development WorksheetPDF (PDF-71k)
Scenario document illustrating Rosa’s strategy

Rosa’s Summary ReportPDF (PDF-61k)
Scenario document illustrating Rosa’s summary of all formative research results.

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Sample Problem Description from GeorgiaPDF (PDF-392k)
An example of what one state used for their problem description.

Sample Screening QuestionnairesPDF
Document describing VERB’s™ formative research process, including sample screening questionnaires.

Segmenting Audiences to Promote Energy Balance: A Resource Guide for Health ProfessionalsPDF (PDF-3.2Mb)
This resource guide describes audience segmentation and five "energy balance" segments developed from Porter Novelli’s ConsumerStyles© and HealthStyles© survey databases. The segmentation framework characterizes U.S. adults according to attitudes and behaviors concerning nutrition, physical activity, and weight control. The guide also includes an application section, detailed data tables, and a 10-question survey (with analysis tools) that classifies respondents into one of the five segments.

Simply PutPDF (PDF-2.74Mb)
CDC's tips for creating easy to read print materials, including information on message content, text appearance, visuals, layout and design, translation, and testing for readability.

Social Marketing in Public Health
Grier S, Bryant C. Social marketing in public health. Ann Rev Public Health. 26:319-39, 2005.
An article describing how social marketing is used and should be used within the public health community. Content includes sections on defining social marketing, concepts used within social marketing, steps in the social marketing process, case examples, challenges and misconceptions about social marketing, and a vision for the future of social marketing within public health.

Social Marketing in the 21st Century
Andreasen A. Social marketing in the 21st century. 2006. Sage: Thousand Oaks.
This book addresses how social marketing can be used to influence upstream audiences such as policymakers and the media using the same concepts and marketing tools used to reach people and encourage individual-level behavior changes.

Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good
Kotler P, Lee N. Social marketing: Influencing behaviors for good. 3rd Edition. 2008. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
This book is the third edition of a classic social marketing textbook. It includes excellent examples and case studies.

Social Marketing: Principles and Practice
Donovan R, Henley N. Social marketing principles and practice. 2003. East Hawthorn, Australia: IP Communications.
Chapter three of this social marketing textbook includes a discussion of the aspects of the environment applicable to social marketing, including a discussion of environmental analysis and the environmental determinants of health and wellbeing.

State-Based Programs
CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity works with selected states to build lasting and comprehensive efforts to address obesity and other chronic disease through a variety of nutrition and physical activity strategies. Includes links to all of the state’s programs, success stories, and other tools and resources.

Strategy Development Worksheet DOC (DOC-36k)
This worksheet is used to identify key formative research results and how those results are turned into strategy decisions.

The Survey Kit
Fink A, ed. The survey kit. 2002. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Books in the kit include: The Survey Handbook; How to Ask Survey Questions; How to Conduct Self-Administered and Mail Surveys; How to Conduct Interviews by Telephone and In Person; How to Sample in Surveys; How to Design Surveys; How to Measure Survey Reliability and Validity; How to Analyze Survey Data; How to Report on Surveys.

Sustainability Toolkit*
Tips provided by the Center for Civic Partnerships for improving the sustainability of a program or intervention. The Center for Civic Partnerships Sustainability Toolkit contains examples, activities, tips and resources.
Toolkit can be purchased online at*

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Technical Assistance Manual
Written to guide applications for the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity’s cooperative agreements, the Technical Assistance Manual is designed to guide state and community partners as they develop, implement, and evaluate an array of nutrition and physical activity activities that aim to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases. The manual includes sections describing CDC’s philosophy and long-term direction that underlie the State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (NPAO) Program, a variety of evidence-based strategies that states can use to develop interventions, and resources.

Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice
A publication from the National Cancer Institute, Theory at a Glance includes sections on the foundations of applying theory to public health practice, descriptions of popular public health behavior change theories, and how to combine theory and practice when planning health promotion programs.

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VERB™ – a Social Marketing Campaign to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth.
Wong F, Huhman M, Heitzler C, Asbury L, Bretthauer-Mueller R, McCarthy S, et al. VERB™ – a social marketing campaign to increase physical activity among youth. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004 Jul. Available at
This article includes more information on the VERB campaign, including a discussion of the 4 P’s.

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Working with Contractors PDF (PDF-40k)
This document provides additional details for how to work with contractors to conduct formative research.

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YRBSS: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
CDC's YRBSS was developed in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. The YRBSS includes national, state, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students. These surveys are conducted every two years, usually during the spring semester. The national survey, conducted by CDC, provides data representative of high school students in public and private schools in the United States. The state and local surveys, conducted by departments of health and education, provide data representative of public high school students in each state or local school district.

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DOC Microsoft Word (DOC)
Microsoft Word is a word processing program used to create and edit text documents. Text in Word documents can be easily modified or copied for use in other applications.
If you do not already have Word, you can download Word Viewer for free.

* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.