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TitleSocial change: bringing allies to the field. An interdisciplinary model
Author(s)Balonas, Sara
KeywordsStrategic communication
Social change
Social marketing
Behavioural sciences
Issue date2021
PublisherUMinho Editora
Universidade do Minho. Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade (CECS)
CitationBalonas, S. (2021). Social change: bringing allies to the field. An interdisciplinary model. In S. Balonas, T. Ruão, & M.-V. Carrillo (Eds.), Strategic communication in context: Theoretical debates and applied research (pp. 153-174). UMinho Editora/Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade.
Abstract(s)This chapter discusses the proposition that development programmes may not place sufficient value on the use of strategic communication, and instead focus on information and awareness campaigns that offer no guarantee of effective change. The chapter seeks to emphasise the importance of strategic communication when applied to behavioural change and effective social change. To this end, certain fundamental concepts will be revisited, such as communication for development and social change and its capacity to embed strategic thinking. Furthermore, we will try to understand the essentials of participatory communication, social marketing, and behavioural sciences, as disciplines to be convened in communication strategies for social change. Assuming that any act of communication of development programmes aims to influence attitudes and behaviours that will foster better living conditions for communities or a more sustainable future, communication should be viewed less as an isolated task and more as a tool to promote effective change. It is not sufficient to launch information campaigns or create awareness about a specific topic. It is necessary to identify what kind of reaction is intended and set corresponding behavioural objectives. Setting concrete, delimited, and measurable objectives is one of the mandatory variables of strategic communication planning in many fields and must underpin social change strategies. Strategic communication is also characterised by the attention given to situation analysis, making it possible to obtain objective data and an overview of the context, in order to support strategic decisions. This is a traditional practice in activities that are pursued by private organisations and should always remain top of mind in contexts of societal development. Strategic communication must also increase interdisciplinarity, as has been pointed out by academic experts. Revisiting the associated arguments inspires us to create a strategic communication matrix for social change, based on a cross-disciplinary perspective. As an ultimate goal, this chapter defends the transposition, with the necessary adaptations, of consolidated practices in other field, to the arena of social change. On this basis, a working model will be proposed that articulates the contributions of the various aforementioned disciplines to be adopted, for instance, in the communication strategies of sustainable development goals.
TypeBook part
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Livros e capítulo de livros / Books and book chapters
DCC - Livros e capítulo de livros / Books and book chapters
UMinho Editora - Capítulos de livros

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