Social marketing pioneer visits New Zealand

23 March 2017

Dr Doug McKenzie-Mohr, an internationally-recognised commentator on design and delivery of community information programmes, was recently in Hamilton, taking part in a workshop programme on the science and psychology behind behaviour change initiatives.

Staff from KVH and a wide range of primary sector, and industry groups, took part in the workshop.

Dr McKenzie Mohr’s ideas about identifying barriers to behaviour change and developing community-based social marketing initiatives to overcome those barriers, can be applied to strategic biosecurity initiatives.

Engaging with a wide range of audiences, from across a broad section of communities is a fundamental part of KVH and the kiwifruit industry’s work.

When we think of current examples like the ongoing management of the Psa disease, or raising awareness about the importance of good biosecurity practice year-round, the learnings from the workshops will help organisations and leaders within the industry understand the challenges and trends related to how people make behavioural choices and where they prefer to get their information.

We have a very clear direction and goal – a biosecurity team of 4.7 million people. We need to be responsive to peoples changing needs so that we’re providing them with the information they want, when they want it, in a way that encourages them to take part in the biosecurity related actions we’re asking of them.

If there are barriers in the way, we need to make changes to the way we do things and find more effective ways of interacting. That may mean changing from the more traditional approach of newspaper ads or printed brochures, to being at more face-to-face community events so we can get direct feedback from people.