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Developing behaviour change campaigns


14 July 2016

From encouraging people to care for the environment to inspiring them to look after their own health – charities need to influence public behaviour on a wide range of issues in their work for a better world.

But changing people’s behaviour can be a difficult, complex and slow task requiring careful, skilled and targeted interventions. And with so many theories to choose from it can be difficult to know what approaches might be best for your cause. 

This conference explored some of the various theories and techniques being used across the sectors to influence behaviour. In interactive sessions delegates tried out models and tools to apply to their own campaigns and challenges, and heard from campaigns that are working to influence behaviour in areas from self-care to sustainability and promoting safety to challenging stigma and discrimination.

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Behaviour change – seven questions to ask yourself
Rob and David laid out seven questions to consider in developing a behaviour change initiative, illustrating this with case studies including the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4.
Rob Moore, director and David Hall, executive director, Behaviour Change


Understand the barriers so you can break them down – This Girl Can
Josie drew on lessons from the innovative use of insight and research that fed into the award-winning, high-impact campaign This Girl Can, how it fits within Sport England’s mission to create an active nation through sport, and where the campaign is going next. Josie Stevens, campaign manager, Sport England


1a: Designing a wiser behaviour change campaign
In this interactive session, we looked at techniques that can help you find out what really matters to the people you need to reach, and get creative in your approach to connecting with them through shared purpose.
Charlie Peverett, strategist, Neo and Will Clark, director of environmental services, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Download the worksheet: Designing a wiser behaviour change campaign


1b. Finding the Activation Point​
George shared examples of where his team have achieved measurable change by understanding audience need and being realistic about the behaviour change journey, giving both the theory and hands-on practice to enable delegates to translate their campaign challenges into meaningful outcomes.
George Ames, head of activation, Forster Communications


1c. Understanding behaviour change in context
The ISM model allows you to explore the Individual Social and Material contexts for behaviour, and offers a powerful tool to help you expose new potential levers of influence. In this interactive session delegates tried out the model on some sample behavioural challenges, and heard how it’s been used to offer new insights.
Andrew Darnton, founder and social researcher, AD Research & Analysis Ltd


1d. Getting practical with behavioural tools
In this workshop, Rob and David took three behavioural tools, looking at the theory behind each and real examples of how they work. Delegates then applied these tools to some of their own live behavioural challenges.
Rob Moore, director and David Hall, executive director, Behaviour Change

2a. Programme design for impact – Keep Britain Tidy​
Lizzie discussed lessons from the work of Keep Britain Tidy’s Centre for Social Innovation, sharing their approach to programme design, from how to plan in measurement and evaluation from the start, to co-designing and testing to deliver scaleable, shareable, cost-effective solutions.
Lizzie Kenyon, director – centre for social innovation, Keep Britain Tidy

2b. Changing behaviour, changing attitudes – Time to change

Katherine discussed how the Time to Change campaign draws on behavioural thinking to tackle mental health discrimination, and how the campaign has developed and refined its approach over nearly 10 years of campaigning.
Katherine Crawshaw, head of social marketing, Time to Change

2c. Choose your messenger – Change4Life

Jo and Helen used the Change4Life case study as a basis to explore how choosing the right messenger for your campaign or cause can have a big impact on your audience and their behaviour.
Jo Arden, head of strategy, 23red and Helen Hampton, deputy director partnerships – marketing, Public Health England

3a. How do we get people to do things for the common good?

In this panel session we heard three perspectives from campaigns applying behaviour change thinking to work for a kinder, more compassionate world.

Parkinson’s in the workplace: working strategically with retail and transport sectors to promote understanding of Parkinson’s disease and other ‘hidden disabilities’.
Emma Jones, senior marketing officer, Parkinson’s UK

From rights to empathy:
Stonewall’s journey from political lobbying group to social change movement.
Robbie de Santos, head of campaigns​, Stonewall

Water explorers:
Encouraging 8-14 year-olds to take action to save water, activating intrinsic values to promote pro-social behaviour.
Sonja Graham, managing partner, Global Action Plan​

 How do we get people to do what’s good for them?
In this panel session we heard three perspectives from campaigns working to get people to adopt healthier behaviours and care for themselves better.

Let’s do this!: The Tesco National Charity Partnership is working together to raise funds and inspire millions of people to discover new, easy ways to eat better and get active every day, ultimately working to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Babs Evans, head of prevention, Tesco Charity Partnership

Dry January:
Participative, scalable and effective, helping people to rethink their alcohol consumption.
Tom Smith, director of campaigns and communications, Alcohol Concern

Touch, Look, Check:
Drawing on marketing tactics and behavioural expertise to prompt regular breast checking.
Eluned Hughes, head of public health and information, Breast Cancer Now​

More than just pulling people out of the water

RNLI discussed how it has moved from a culture of targets – boat launches and rescues – to an evidence-based strategy that looks more closely at the people who didn’t get saved, working towards the ambition of reducing deaths by drowning in the UK and Ireland by 50%.
Jac Dendle, community safety profiling and behaviour change co-ordinator and Megan Inett, community safety project manager, RNLI

Tweets from the day