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Ten ways to waste large amounts of public money on Social Change programmes (What Not To Do)


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Professor Jeff French
(Ironic) "Lectio magistralis"
European Social Marketing Conference. Antwerp 2018

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Ten ways to waste large amounts of public money on Social Change programmes (What Not To Do)

  1. 1. Ten ways to waste large amounts of public money on Social Change programmes Professor Jeff French
  2. 2. 1 THE CORRECT MINDSET Never worry about actually making a difference. Your job is to give an impression that action is happening and lots of it. What Not To Do
  3. 3. 2 Aims and Objectives Never set out clear aims or measurable objectives. Keep aims and objectives vague and keep changing them. What Not To Do
  4. 4. 3 TARGET AUDIANCE Never listen to the target audience about needs, or what they say may help them, unless they agree with your diagnosis. If you are forced to engage with the audience just pretend to listen, empathise and then carry on regardless with you plan. What Not To Do
  5. 5. Remember that Segmentation can be a helpful way to develop projects that are so diluted that they stand little chance of success. What Not To Do
  6. 6. 4 STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS • Avoid at all cost wasting time with people or organisations who may have their own ideas about how the problem could be solved. • Identify the minimum number of people who must be told about your intervention and provided them with the least amount of information that you can get away with. What Not To Do
  7. 7. 5 RESEARCH Don’t do it, If you are forced to make sure its carried out by external researchers who charge a lot. What Not To Do
  8. 8. If research does not confirm what you want to do bin it, hide or better still just keep commissioning more until you get the answers you like. Never use other peoples research when you can commission your own. Never share your research with anyone especially if they would find it helpful or would save them money What Not To Do
  9. 9. 6 PRETESTING AND PILOTS This stage is best skipped as findings may mean you have to pretend to change what you want to do. What Not To Do
  10. 10. Remember if pilots don’t give you the answers you want just ignore them and carry on. However pilots can be a good way of staling action, getting rid of money and putting off doing anything. What Not To Do
  11. 11. 7 WORKING WITH SUPPLERS Always give external contractors very vague briefs, make them guess what you want. What Not To Do
  12. 12. Keep changing your mind about what you want delivered and how it should be evaluated. Change suppliers often, you do not want anyone developing more understanding about the issue than you do. What Not To Do
  13. 13. 8 PROJECT MANAGMENT • Make sure that you have multiple teams and multiple external agencies working on the project, never let them develop effective dialogue with each other. • Project planning must be avoided, steer clear of having a written plan for anything as this can be used against you. What Not To Do
  14. 14. Never ever let a professional manager run a project . The best people to put in charge are subject experts who have never managed anyone or anything. What Not To Do
  15. 15. 9 USING THE MEDIA and SOCIAL MEDIA • Buy lots of media and social media as this is a great way to get rid of a lot of money very quickly. • It is also a great way to use up end of year funds and protect your future budget. • Remember the key point of social information programmes is to indicate action it does not have to work. What Not To Do
  16. 16. If you can also involve a celebrity • Chose a celebrity that you like regardless of what the target audience think about them • Get one who is more interested in their own fame than the project as this can help deflect attention when it all starts to go wrong What Not To Do
  17. 17. 10 Evaluation 1. Commission evaluation, but make sure it is not directly linked to the projects aims and objectives 2. If evaluation results confirm what you want to hear use them , if they don't bury them. 3. Never, ever conduct ROI of VFM studies. What Not To Do
  18. 18. Finally Remember If you ever come up by mistake with a social change programme that works, is loved by the target audience and is great value for money........ On no account let anyone know about it. Reinvention of the wheel is what makes the world go round. What Not To Do
  19. 19. However if you do want effective efficient ethical and community owned programmes you could try: SOCIAL MARKETING What Not To Do
  20. 20. Twitter: or @jefffrenchSSM Linkedin: french/14/998/582