See Beyond Race: social marketing campaign

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1 See Beyond Race: social marketing campaign Executive Summary In 2011, the City of Whittlesea, VicHealth and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission partnered to develop, implement and evaluate a place-based social marketing campaign to increase positive attitudes and behaviours towards cultural diversity in the City of Whittlesea. The resulting See Beyond Race campaign was a key strategy within the Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Project, a multi-faceted place-based pilot to reduce race-based discrimination and support diversity, funded by VicHealth. Implemented between May and September 2011 and informed by the best available evidence, the campaign focused on challenging stereotypes by featuring five local residents and their real life characteristics (hobbies, family life, employment etc) in advertising, local communications activities and a media partnership with the Whittlesea Leader. Campaign activity included a campaign launch, traditional advertising (local press, bus exterior/interior/shelter and food court tables), an editorial campaign, internal and external stakeholder communications and information and campaign material distribution (such as fact sheets, magnets, postcards, posters, bumper stickers) to households, businesses, sports clubs and schools. Strong results were achieved against campaign objectives, including a measurable shift in positive attitudes towards cultural diversity amongst the target audience. Situation Analysis Building support for diversity and reducing race-based discrimination are vital approaches to achieving social cohesion which in turn, is key to healthy people and communities 1. Studies show that exposure to discrimination can increase an individual s risk of developing poor mental health, especially anxiety and depression, and is linked to obesity, alcohol and substance abuse, and smoking 2. Furthermore, race-based discrimination undermines people s basic human rights. Statewide research commissioned by VicHealth in 2007 indicated that, although the majority of respondents were supportive of cultural diversity, 1 in 10 held traditionally racist attitudes and nearly 1 in 3 had attitudes suggestive of intolerance towards diversity 3. A 2010 survey of 315 City of Whittlesea residents (Community Attitudes survey) found that although the majority felt positive about living in a culturally diverse community, intolerant attitudes remained. A substantial proportion also felt that some cultural groups did not fit in to Australian society. The LEAD Experiences of Discrimination survey of 90 Aboriginal people and 335 people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds living in the City of Whittlesea revealed that respondents experienced high rates of discrimination in many areas of life (including employment, sport and recreation, education, and public spaces). VicHealth s Building on our Strengths Framework 4 (Framework) and VicHealth-commissioned research by Professor Rob Donovan 5 identified social marketing and communications as effective strategies for reducing race-based discrimination and supporting diversity. In particular, whole of population advertising campaigns, incorporating antidiscrimination/pro-diversity messages into existing media and using existing media to canvass issues associated with race-based discrimination and diversity were identified as promising approaches to address race-based discrimination. The Framework also indicated that efforts to reduce discrimination were most successful when a coordinated range of strategies were implemented to target individuals, communities and organisations (a multi-level approach) in ways that support one another. Therefore, a social marketing campaign could support attitudinal and behavioural change at the community level, as well as reinforce the other interventions within the LEAD Project. 1 VicHealth (2011). The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Program Information Sheet 2 Ibid 3 VicHealth (2007). More than Tolerance: Embracing diversity for health summary Report 4 VicHealth (2009). Building on our Strengths: A framework to reduce race-based discrimination and support diversity in Victoria Summary Report 5 Donovan & Vlais (2006). A review of communication components of anti-racism and pro diversity social marketing/public education campaigns 1

2 Goals and Objectives Campaign aim To challenge individuals about their attitudes to other ethnic and cultural groups, in order to increase pro-diversity attitudes among target audiences. Campaign objectives Campaign awareness Achieve 60% awareness of the campaign among target groups by October Recall Achieve accurate recall of campaign messages among 90% of the target groups who were aware of the campaign. Interpretation Achieve accurate interpretation of the intent of the campaign messaging among 75% of target groups who were aware of the campaign. Impact (self reported) Achieve self-reporting of some level of reflection or change of attitude, belief or behaviour among 10% of target groups who were aware of the campaign. Impact (objective) Achieve an increase in pro-diversity attitudes or beliefs among the target groups of 5% against local pre-campaign benchmarks. These objectives were informed by the Donovan and Vlais research (cited above); Are social marketing campaigns effective in preventing child abuse and neglect (Horsfall B, Bromfield L and McDonald M, 2010); and One Scotland Many Cultures Waves 6 and 7 Campaign Evaluation (Social Research for Office of the Chief Researcher, 2006). Objectives were also aligned with the intermediate outcomes of the Framework. Research Campaign development Given the potential for anti-discrimination initiatives to have the unintended effect of reinforcing negative attitudes and behaviours, the development of the campaign was informed by the best available evidence. Guided by a summary of the research, prepared by Dr Yin Paradies 6, and research by Professor Donovan, the campaign responded to the evidence by: Addressing some of the individual factors known to contribute to race-based discrimination: including negative stereotypes and prejudices and the belief that some groups do not fit into Australian society (factors that were evident in the Community Attitudes survey). Avoiding messages based on appeals to unity or oneness, as these risk reinforcing the exclusion of certain groups perceived to be outside of the national identity. Focusing, in a balanced manner, on both sameness and difference and demonstrating that the cultural groups featured in the campaign shared at least one of the values of the dominant group. Going further than inviting the target audience to like or accept others, as this was unlikely to have a lasting impact on beliefs and attitudes and may have been counter-productive. Using real local people. Implementing parallel strategies to address potential negative media coverage. Using positive tone, language and images and not portraying the cultural groups in a way that could reinforce existing (negative) stereotypes. 6 Paradies (2011). A place-based communications and social marketing campaign to increase acceptance of cultural diversity and reduce race-based discrimination in LEAD implementation councils. 2

3 Avoiding messages that made the audience feel personally guilty or blamed for the problem and instead emphasising how they could be part of the solution. Targeting individuals with moderate attitudes toward diversity, rather than those who were already strongly supportive of, or strongly opposed, to cultural diversity 7. Campaign testing The creative agency, with guidance from the campaign partners, developed three creative concepts. These were tested with target audience representatives through three focus groups. All focus group participants were invited to take part in a follow up phone call one week after the focus group, to test message retention and determine whether reflection had led to other observations about the creative tested. In-depth interviews were conducted with local community leaders/representatives from the cultural groups featured in the campaign (Muslim, Aboriginal, Indian, Chinese, African), to ensure that the messages and creative were effective and culturally appropriate. Across all groups and communities, the See Beyond Race concept was identified as most likely to achieve the campaign objectives. Feedback indicated the concept was impactful, thought provoking, memorable and culturally appropriate. Target Publics Two groups were identified as target audiences for the campaign - secondary students and young adults aged between 15 and 24, and adults aged between 25 and 34, with moderate attitudes to cultural diversity. Secondary students and young adults aged between 15 and 24 were targeted as they: Accounted for 14.6% of the local population, according to the 2006 ABS Census. Were in the final stages of values formation and were likely to have broad social networks. Were exposed to LEAD activities and messages in other settings, including at school, in retail settings and in workplaces. Adults aged between 25 and 34 were targeted because they: Accounted for 14.7% of the local population, according to the 2006 ABS Census. Were likely to include a large number of parents, or people who are thinking about starting a family, thus being in a position to influence the formation of values among children within the community. Were exposed to LEAD activities and messages in other settings, including in the retail, workplace, education and council settings. Communications Strategy Informed by the research and creative/message testing, a positive campaign featuring local people and their real life characteristics and stories was developed. Utilising powerful imagery, highlighting people s similarities and common values (particularly relating to their job, hobbies and family life), and a strong call to action, the campaign challenged the audience to see beyond race and look beyond stereotypes. The multi-faceted campaign included a campaign launch, traditional advertising (local press, bus exterior/interior/shelter and food court tables), an editorial campaign, internal and external stakeholder communications and information/campaign material distribution to households, businesses, sports clubs and schools. Communications activities directed at gaining support for the campaign among key stakeholders and extending the reach of the advertising campaign leveraged off Council s communications channels and relationships already established as part of the LEAD Project. The media partnership with Whittlesea Leader, involving feature articles on the campaign talent, enabled talents stories and the issue of race-based discrimination to be explored in more depth. 7 Sweeney Research (2009), commissioned by VicHealth 3

4 Implementation The campaign, implemented between May and September 2011, involved the following components: Stakeholder communications Mainstream advertising Key stakeholders were engaged and consulted to gain their support and endorsement and enable them to promote the campaign amongst their networks and constituents, as follows: o Campaign creative tested with five members of the LEAD External Advisory Group (EAG). o Results of campaign testing presented to LEAD Internal Working Group (Council staff involved in the hands-on implementation of the broader LEAD Project) and EAG (local CALD and Aboriginal community leaders, Council CEO, Councillors and service providers). o Public campaign launch involving campaign talent and local dignitaries (City of Whittlesea Mayor) held to coincide with the start of the advertising. o Campaign materials provided to the EAG and LEAD partners (schools, workplaces, retailers) to support promotion of campaign. For example, LEAD partners Lalor East Primary School and Mushroom Exchange engaged students and employees to develop their own See Beyond Race posters, included advertisements in newsletters and displayed the ads across the school/workplace. The campaign placement was tailored to the media consumption patterns of the two target audiences, with the media mix including local press, bus interiors and exteriors, bus shelters and Westfield food court tables in the southern area of the municipality (where the majority of people from diverse backgrounds reside) 8. Media relations A strategic media partnership with Whittlesea Leader was implemented, commencing with coverage of the campaign launch, followed by a branded series of feature-length articles on the local campaign talent. Supporting communications Issues management Rigorous evaluation Supporting activities used Council communication channels such as the resident newsletter, website and direct mail to extend the reach of the campaign. A campaign postcard (with message from the Mayor) and magnet was distributed to 65,000 residents via Council s newsletter. Campaign promotional materials (posters, magnets, bumper stickers, fact sheets, postcards with a covering letter from the CEO) were distributed to 500 retail stores, 900 local businesses, 147 sporting clubs and community groups, 80 local schools, kindergartens and child care centres, 30 Maternal and Child Health Centres and 6 libraries. The campaign s impact was closely monitored through media monitoring. In addition, close engagement with key CALD and Aboriginal community leaders/members, Council staff and Councillors enabled the campaign team to keep abreast of the community s response to the campaign. The proactive media partnership between Council and Whittlesea Leader enabled Council to guide the messages delivered through the media. The careful development and testing of the campaign enabled any issues to be addressed early. A mix of quantitative and qualitative evaluation was used to assess the impact of the campaign against campaign objectives. 8 Due to the tight geographic focus of the campaign and use of local people in the campaign creative, TV and radio advertising were not utilised as the City of Whittlesea is serviced by metropolitan TV and radio. 4

5 Results / Evaluation Benchmarking before the campaign and evaluation after its conclusion involved a computer assisted telephone interview (survey) of a representative sample of the target audience. The following strong results were achieved against campaign objectives. Awareness (37%) objective not achieved, most likely because of the budget and campaign timeframe limitations. Recall (87%) objective met. Understanding (87%) objective exceeded. Attitude change (self-reported) (37%) objective exceeded. Attitude change (objective) (1.8% increase) objective not met, though an increase from 3.9% to 4.1% was recorded among year olds. In-depth interviews were conducted with four of the five campaign talent to investigate the impact of participation on them personally. Key findings included: Involvement surpassed individuals expectations, with all feeling immensely proud of their involvement and having positive experiences discussing race-based discrimination within the community. Involvement produced significant personal benefits, such as higher levels of personal confidence and empowerment. Level of influence and reach of campaign strongly endorsed by participants, with the campaign reaching family, friends and workmates, as well as strangers on the street. The following critical success factors enabled the overall campaign aim to be achieved: Tight geographic focus of the campaign delivered strong results, even with a limited budget. Campaign aim and objectives were at the heart of the creative briefing, development processes and message testing stage. The faces of the campaign were at the centre of its success and the use of real rather than fictional characteristics in the ads resonated with the audience. This resonance was amplified by the media coverage of the talent used in the ad, which underscored the use of real people. The strong and trusting relationships with key stakeholders at a local level supported the campaign s success for example, three of the five local residents featured in the campaign were identified through the EAG. Of the print channels used, local newspaper advertising was very effective, as were out of home channels, such as the billboards and bus shelter advertising especially for young people. Having a local Council contact throughout the campaign ensured talent felt supported. 5

6 Campaign Creative 6

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