Throughout the country, organizations are planning for upcoming “awareness” months, such as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in February, Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Most people are making decisions about what collateral items (also known as “stuff”) should be used.
The stuff includes many items such as ribbons, teeshirts, wristbands, water bottles, bumperstickers and temporary tattoos. PreventConnect recently distributed branded flash drives (preloaded with some of our podcasts).
Do these items make a difference to create the change we are seeking? In Craig Lefebvre’s blog Social Marketing and Social Change, he addresses this question with “four things that ‘stuff’ can do:”

1. mark tribal or brand identity (“I am one of us”) – if I self-identify as one, I will be more likely to act as one.
2. become a social object (‘I want to talk about this with you’) – when you see it, ask me about it. I want to share what I know or passionately believe in.
3. create ubiquity (‘It’s everywhere I go’) – raises the salience (not the same as awareness) of the issue/product/service/behavior and thus the normative judgment.
4. cue action (Whoops, almost forgot to do it’) – the best intentions still need prompts for behavior.
(click here for the full blog)

What stuff do you find helpful in prevention of domestic violence and sexual violence?