STEP 3: Getting Informed

In this section you will be mapping out potential partners for your program.

You will:

  • Identify the areas you want to be more informed about.
  • Decide about contacting others in your field and conducting a literature review.
  • Determine whether to arrange focus groups.
  • Consider conducting telephone surveys.
 
1. Decide what information you will need in order to base your program on a solid foundation.

Examples

BIXI combined survey data with existing market and data research on its target audience to design a stylish, easy-to use bike-sharing system that and to decide on the locations of its first bike stations.

In 1989 Boulder estimated that only 27 percent of daily trips involved alternative transportation modes while 73 percent involved single-occupant vehicles.

Go Boulder identified potential barriers for specific target audiences. For example, one of the key factors discouraging business people from taking the bus was their concern about how they would get home if they had to work late or were in an emergency situation.

Get in the Loop - Buy Recycled found that far fewer people were actually buying recycled-content products than had been predicted on the basis of purchasing intentions. A telephone survey identified five main barriers that were preventing people from taking action: price, quality, low consumer awareness of product availability, consumer cynicism about environmental claims, and an unwillingness to put much effort into locating the products.

JEEP had seen demand for power increase from 6.3 MW in 1981 to 11.9 MW in 1991.

JEEP wanted people to purchase and install energy saving devices. Research had revealed that in the short run residents were unlikely to make the purchases without some sort of incentive.

Tip: You may need to cut corners if you are limited by time or other resources. Tips are provided to help you do this. However, we strongly advise you to include this critical stage in your planning process, so you can identify the key barriers to change. Otherwise you may find that you are unable to achieve your desired results.

Tip: Use your hunches to help come up with potential areas worth looking into. Then collect objective data.

Tip: Once you have determined your target audience, you may want to re-visit this section and further tighten the focus of your information search. (see Targeting the Audience)

Your Program

Type in the key information for as many of the following as you can. Then use the check boxes to identify the remaining information gaps you want to fill. Once you have found the missing information, enter it here.

Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change Your community`s current level of participation in the activity
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeRelated use of resources by your community
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeThe levels of change in participation and resource use that others have achieved
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeCircumstances in your community that may affect your ability to achieve similar results
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeThe size of the population you wish to impact
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeThe projected size of the population (use the same time period as for your objectives)
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeOther organizations already promoting the changes you desire to your audience
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeOther organizations promoting competing alternatives to the changes you desire
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeFactors that commonly motivate people to do the activity. List the three most important factors first, preferably in order of importance.

Motivator 1:
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Motivator 2:
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Motivator 3:
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Other motivators:
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeIf a financial incentive will be required
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of ChangeCommon barriers to doing the activity and how others have dealt with them in the past. List the three most important barriers first, preferably in order of importance.
Barrier 1:
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Solution:
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Barrier 2:
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Solution:
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Barrier 3:
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Solution:
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Other barriers:
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Solutions:
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(For a definition, examples and further help see the Tool Overcoming Specific Barriers.)

 
2. Contact others working in your field and conduct a literature search of relevant articles and reports. For information on recommended sources, click here.

Examples

The literature review conducted by North Shore Recycling’s Compost Coaching program literature review found that personalized and repeated messaging, personal contact, bin delivery and set up, having a ‘real person’ to help troubleshoot, and personal follow-ups all increased bin usage and long term success. The literature review also revealed that word-of-mouth and peer-examples were the strongest motivators for backyard composting.

COAST consulted with local health, sexual health and wellbeing service providers to learn from their experiences on how best to engage with young people.

BRIDGE conducted a literature review that revealed factors associated with people?s willingness to get tested for HIV. Besides gender and education, these included lack of awareness, stigma, low perceived risk and low self-efficacy.

A literature review conducted by the AIDS Peer Education Program revealed that although 50% to 75% of adolescents in Quebec used condoms during their first sexual encounter, only 13% to 48% used them consistently. Between 2.0% and 6.4% of these teenagers engaged in sexual intercourse with an IV drug user.

Tip: If you do not have the resources to do an extensive literature search, ask others working in your field to recommend the articles and reports they have found most helpful.

Tip: Once you have assimilated all this information, contact the authors of studies that are of particular interest, to inquire about more current information.

Tip: The Case Studies on this Web site will give you a good start in your literature search.

Tip: Do not forget to draw on the collective experience of your planning group.

An excellent summary of academic articles covering community-based social marketing approaches can be found at: http://www.cbsm.com (Note: go to the Articles section)

Your Program

Note other individuals and organizations working in your field that might be worth contacting.
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List some of the key words to use when searching databases or the Internet, and when asking others for help.
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Jot down some of the libraries and databases that might be worth checking.
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3. Explore the attitudes and behaviours of your community regarding the activity.

Examples

Smarter Travel conducted focus group research to better understand the specific groups of residents identified by its surveys as being most willing and able to change their behavior

FortisBC conducted focus groups and a survey in Rossland prior to the start of the Rossland Energy Diet, to confirm the local barriers to energy efficiency. 

BRIDGE conducted ten focus groups to investigate perceptions, beliefs, norms and practices, identify the key motivators and barriers, and determine the most credible sources and channels of information. There were 8-10 participants per group, except for the two groups with elders which had only 4-5 per group. The focus group discussions were non-directive and participatory, using self- projection images and games to generate open discussions.

COAST conducted three focus groups in a variety of settings, including a community café, a drop-in centre and a local college. This research helped the team understand young people?s attitudes towards Chlamydia screening. COAST conducted 30 one-on-one interviews were conducted with students from Barton on Humber and North Lindsey College to establish the most effective methods of getting the Chlamydia screening message across and encouraging young people to use the service.

Tip: If resource limitations force you to make a choice between using focus groups or a survey, it is often best to use the survey. Surveys provide less biased results and can help you better determine the relative importance of various barriers and motivators.

Tip: If you don't have the resources to conduct formal focus groups, check the findings of your literature review with several people who work in your field.

Tip: For further information on organizing focus groups, refer to chapter 7 in Promoting a Sustainable Future: An Introduction to Community- Based Social Marketing (Ottawa: NRTEE) by Doug McKenzie- Mohr.

Your Program

Consider having focus groups organized. What resourcing options are available to you? Staff? Volunteers? A consultant?
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Alternatively, check your findings with some of the people you contacted in step 2.

 
4. Conduct a telephone survey with a random sample from your target population.

Examples

Smarter Travel conducted telephone interviews with a sample of 1,500 Sutton residents, and an additional 500 in neighboring Croydon borough, which served as a control area (comparison group, Quasi-Experimental Design).

Stepping it Up engaged participating schools to undertake a number of surveys each year, including a paper-based, take-home family travel survey for students' parents/ caregivers; a paper-based student travel survey, completed in class; an online staff travel survey; and an online school administrator survey.

BRIDGE conducted a random sample survey. One-on-one interviews were use so the program could reach people with low literacy. The questionnaire was pre-tested, adjusted to improve clarity and flow, and then translated from English into Chichewa and Tumbuka. These two versions were then back-translated into English to establish semantic equivalence.

Beginning in 1994, AT&T conducted annual telework participant surveys.

Tip: You may only need to phone as few as 40 households if you select a random sample, so this step is not necessarily costly or time-consuming. However, you are strongly advised to involve someone with a strong background in survey design and statistics.

Tip: For further information on designing and carrying out telephone surveys, refer to chapter 7 in Promoting a Sustainable Future: An Introduction to Community- Based Social Marketing (Ottawa: NRTEE) by Doug McKenzie- Mohr.

Tip: If you want descriptive statistics (e.g. 10% of survey participants did xyz in the first year; 30% did it in the third year) and cross tabulations (e.g. did the women respond differently than the men?), and you don't need to know the statistical significance (e.g. p < .05 ), you can easily do the survey yourself using Survey Gold. Easy to learn because it handles like a word processor, it is inexpensive and features web-based data entry, automatic data compilation, and one-click reports with pie charts and/or tables.

Your Program

Arrange for someone with a strong background in survey design to help draw up the survey, arrange for people to make the phone calls and provide them with clear instructions, and arrange for someone with a strong background in statistics to analyze the data,

OR

arrange for a consultant to prepare, conduct and analyze the survey.