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Inspiring Behavior Change for Sustainable, Healthy,
and Equitable Communities

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SPARKS 2015 Conference

  • 14 Dec 2015
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • The Museum of Flight (William M. Allen Theater and Skyline Room)

Theme: In 2015 the conference focused on behavior change related to public health, environmental health and protection, community wellbeing, and advanced theories and methodologies.


Cammy Mills, Kitsap County Public Works: The Mutt Mitt Program
In one particular park in Kitsap County, Cammy Mills and her team noticed that despite plenty of bags being available in the park, residents were repeatedly complaining that pet owners weren’t scooping their pets’ waste. Cammy and her team quickly realized the non-scoopers happened to be a very visible, but very small minority. To curb the non-scoopers, Cammy and her team came up with new tactics, like switching the color of the bags to bright pink and resetting expectations.

David Patton, Vulcan Inc.: Sustainable Seafood
Seventy percent of seafood is consumed in restaurants. Thus, chefs and restaurant owners have a great impact on the types of fish that consumers eat. Paul Allen’s SmartCatch program launched in Seattle as a pilot and focused on getting restaurants and chefs onboard to support seafood sustainability. By focusing the efforts on changing the behavior of the influencers, rather than the consumers, a program was created that can be replicated to have large impact on how seafood is consumed nationwide.

Ashley Mancheni, Quinn Thomas: We Need Water Because…
We all use water, but do we think about its value? Ashley Mancheni explained how the Cascade Water Alliance was inspired by the “Before I Die” campaign and offered a chance for people to reflect on why water is important to them. By demonstrating the connection of all community members to one water source, through water walls in public spaces, individuals were given the opportunity to personally identify with the value water plays in their daily lives.

McKenna Morrigan, Cascadia Consulting Group: How to Make Apartment Residents Better Recyclers
Why do we find that the single-family sector is better at recycling than the multifamily sector? Contrary to what most assume, it doesn’t have to do with the demographics of apartment complexes. Turns out, insufficient collection capacity is a major barrier for apartment resident to correct recycling. McKenna’s presentation was a good reminder to always start a project by checking your assumptions through research, even if you’re confident you understand the “why” behind baseline conditions.

Andy Wappler, Puget Sound Energy: The Power of Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness
How do you motivate people to take action to get prepared for an emergency? Strategic use of partnerships can often help you get to your behavior change goal, quicker than you think. Andy showed us how leveraging experts, media partners and common spaces can create the perfect opportunity for reaching your audience.

Sunny Knot, King County Metro & Justine Clift, Steer Davies Gleave: Using Motivational Interviewing to Get People in Motion
Despite initial doubts, many residents around Green Lake were excited to talk to King County Metro staff as they knocked on doors to learn about Green Lake residents’ travel behaviors. Stellar outreach training that included learning motivational interviewing techniques were key to making the outreach a success.

Nancy Lee, Social Marketing Services, Inc: Washington State’s #1 Property Crime Ranking
What can social marketing do to influence citizen behaviors to help reduce the chances of being a victim of property crimes? By letting the priority behavior selection be data driven, Nancy Lee and the police department on Mercer Island found that reminding residents to lock their windows and doors would be the first step in curbing burglaries.

Heidi Keller, Heidi Keller Consulting: Exchange Theory: Lost in Implementation?
As social marketers we understand conceptually the need to account for “the exchange” when we start a social marketing project, but is there a tendency to lose track of it during implementation? Heidi Keller walked us through how to knock down barriers, one bowling pin at a time.

Jessica Alvestad, Tacoma – Pierce County Health Department: Suck on This
Typical Public Health campaigns often go unnoticed or overlooked, but this campaign was developed to get people talking. By using a controversial message, developed by youth for youth, the “Suck on This” campaign emphasized the dangers for cigarette alternatives. Sometimes it takes a little bad press to help spread your anti-tobacco messaging.

Kristin Gilman, Washington State Department of Health: School Immunizations Exemptions
Washington state had one of the highest school immunization exemption rates in the nation prior to 2011. Kristin Gilman explains how a Certificate of Exemption made it more difficult to opt out of vaccination without having a conversation with a qualified provider. Making vaccinations the path of least resistance is an effective way to alter parents’ behaviors.

Carey Evenson & Liv Faris, C+C: Hacking the Behavior Change Continuum
With the right research and intervention strategies, you can super-charge your social marketing campaign to move people from awareness to behavior change quickly and effectively. By optimizing your campaign planning, you’ll quickly learn the hacking rules and be on your way to create campaigns that have long-lasting effects.

Dave Ward, Puget Sound Partnership: Getting to the Aha! Moment
Aha-moments are not random occurences; they are the product of circumstances and thought processes that you can cultivate in your own work. Does the social marketing process guarantee an Aha-moment? Dave Ward walked us through how understanding people’s values and fears, and using a beginner’s mind can get you on your way.

Peggy Hannon, University of Washington: Getting Ready for Change: How Can Theory Help?
Theory can help us identify questions to ask during formative work, design stronger interventions and guide evaluation measures. Peggy Hannon spoke of a project designed to make worksites healthier, and how going back to the theory framework and reworking the implementation design will help make the program see even stronger outcomes.

Kristin Pace & Ryan Kellogg, Local Hazardous Waste Management Program: Embed Social Marketing into Your Organizational Structure
Social marketing is often applied on a project-by-project basis. But what happens when it becomes a foundational operating principle for an organization? By applying social marketing principles across all levels – from the individual level to the policy level – Pace and Kellogg took the audience on an aspiring journey to create a community free of hazardous materials.

Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association (PNSMA)

1011 Western Avenue, Suite 702

Seattle, WA  98104

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