Sunday, July 12, 2015

Public Awareness of Social Issues


The last two weeks, we have covered articles on non-profit, for-profit and government strategy development. This week, my curiosity urged me to discover if strategy development and its uses changed when it was for public awareness or to address a social problem that is growing. I did find many articles from our States and Federal Government, as well as other countries, when it came to public awareness, unlike my search for local government strategies. I chose to search for skin cancer because I have been through major surgeries to treat it and now realize the importance of awareness. This action plan was created and published by Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety as their formal strategy development for 2011. A key lesson from this action plan for me was the use of partnerships and other creative solutions to funding, that the government used to ensure public awareness of the topic. Due to a limited budget, "unpaid media and working in partnership was a key component of its marketing strategy."(DHSSPSNI, 2011) A large part of their strategy must be focused on funding and it must be well planned to be sustainable.  Another difference I noticed through this article for public awareness was how the research and plan was based on initiatives from other countries. Overall, for public awareness, it appears that strategy development is much more cooperative and involves many other agencies working together for one goal. It appears that the government has used the ‘shaping’ strategic style in their planning. The barriers are low for the governments focusing on awareness and innovation is important because it can be extremely difficult to bring awareness of social problems to society. As seen with this article, the government is in competition with tanning salons that are promoting benefits of tanning and utilizing the stigma that tan is beautiful. The demand for awareness for sun safety is extremely hard to predict for all governments and many social issues. People often do not care about topics that have not directly affected them. Smoking is an example of this because until knowledge was widespread and people realized the health effects of smoking first hand, many people paid no attention to government warnings. As a result, the government must be innovative with their strategies that they use to bring awareness in order to reach as many people as possible and to be effective in their goal. This lesson can also be beneficial for other organizations because it can help them think of new ideas to promote their company, cause and develop funding for their ideas and organizations.

 

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. “Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy and Action Plan”. DHSSPSNI. July 2011. http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/hp_microsoft_word_-_sub_1082_2011b_final_draft_-_skin_cancer_prevention_strategy.pdf . PDF File.

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