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Social Marketing Assignment - A Reflective Report on Carbon Emission in Greenwich Council Focusing on Cycling

A Reflective Report on Carbon Emission in Greenwich Council Focusing on Cycling


            In this reflective report, the approach is taken as problem-oriented, that is, not only the strengths of the campaign are discussed but also focus on the weaknesses of the specific parts of the report. Reflections are discussed in the entirety of the report. Lead organization and the intervention are initially discussed followed by the parts wherein weaknesses and improvements are identified.  

Lead Organization

            Under the environment and planning unit, the re-cycle cycling campaign will be administered by Greenwich Council. Greenwich Council aims at providing quality and quality of life for the people of Greenwich. Specifically, the environment and planning component of the Council purports to improve and preserve our immediate surroundings. What drives this initiative is in line with achieving greener Greenwich, which is the underpinning of all activities implemented by the Council. It would be necessary to mention the lead organization to determine the point of action plan.


            Cycling is considered as both a form of transportation and for exercise. Continuous introduction of commercial transportation, on the other hand, encourages the transporting public to make use of cars, for instance, instead of the traditional and ever-reliable bicycles. The more pressing issue here is that some forms of these transports especially cars imposed environmental problems due to excessive carbon. Cycling therefore could reduce the carbon footprints and leads to greener streets and thus greener Greenwich.

            As such, the campaign is generally a combination of physical and environmental campaign. Although this is not a holistic concept, these two areas are critical to contemporary England complementing the modern lifestyles of the people that contribute to CO2 emissions. It is of my best belief that this advocacy provides benefits not just to the individual but also to the society. Re-cycling cycling campaign therefore represents an avenue by which people can support their health requirements and then reduce their carbon emission in the process. The initiative basically aims to inform, support and encourage more people in cycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

            Based on this, the campaign covers some educational objectives. Cognitive because it ensures that people understand the campaign through informed decisions to participate; affective because it enthuses people to engage in attitude-changing cycling and psychomotor because of the integral aim of re-cycle cycling campaign which is to promote physical and environmental health. The rationale behind this campaign is embedded on the health importance of cycling for women which is to achieve better air quality, which is perceived to be a key in establishing a healthier nation.  


The objective of the proposal is to present the re-cycle cycling campaign using Kotler’s social planning process. Kotler’s social marketing planning process starts and finishes with research wherein research is conducted throughout to inform the development of a strategy. Situational analysis, definition of the problem, formulation of marketing strategy and developing social marketing mix and monitoring and evaluation encompass this social marketing planning. As such, the use of Kotler’s process is commendable.

However, there is the need to separate the specific objectives of the proposal with that of the campaign. There could be also justified 1 yr campaign objectives. This would be made more explicit in raising the issue of what percentage of carbon emission reduction is expected through cycling. About 3-7% of the total emissions of CO2 in Greenwich would pass as an additional, more specific objective.


            The main aim of the report is to develop a proposed campaign which will be known as the “re-cycle cycling campaign.” Re-cycle cycling will run from 2010 to 2011 following through to the Olympics in 2012. The campaign will predominantly focus on the desired target audience within Greenwich with the goal of reducing CO2 emission through the exercise of cycling.

            Further, it is also the goal of our report to make use of two models namely Social Cognitive Theory and Transtheoretical Theory. In brief, the first theory deals with explanation of health behavioral patterns while the second involves assessment of readiness of health behavior changes.  


            Primary and secondary research was conducted. However, secondary research is more on cycling and limited on the CO2 emissions in the UK and particularly in Greenwich. In contextualizing the secondary research, I should have referred to the core of the campaign which is to reduce carbon emission through cycling. Carbon emission therefore should form part of the secondary study.

Secondary Research

            In United Kingdom (UK), particularly, 60% and 72% of men and women, respectively, lack the initiative towards enough physical activity to benefit their health, as according to Health Survey for England. Increasing the numbers of physically active in the UK had become a leading aim of the contemporary public health policy.

Based on the statistics acquired from the Department for Transport (2010), eight in every ten (8/10) cyclists in London that cycling scheme is overall a good idea with 83%. Next to walking, people strongly agree cycling help one’s health, help the environment and then ease congestion. Also, about 30-40% of the total number of respondents also tends to agree with the three situations concerning cycling. Further, it is also well understood that money could have been spent more on bike facilities such as cycling park. 

            In the UK, women make only 28% of the cycling journeys, which seems extremely high. The gender gap is basically because of the fact that women cyclists are in more danger than men. As such, safety is the key factor stopping women from cycling. For some women, driving an automobile is preferred than cycling.    

Primary Research

            Basically, the target audience of the campaign is women who drive aged 17-40. The target audience is chosen because of the fact provided from the previous section. As originally planned, street interviews are conducted for about 10 women who drive. Four questions are asked among the respondents:

1)    Do you cycle?

2)    Would you prefer cycling more than driving?

3)    Would like to participate in our campaign?

4)    Why would you like to participate in the campaign?

Majority of the responses to the campaign were positive as noted. This forms part of the consultation, which is a crucial part of every social campaign. Nevertheless, a good questionnaire for a local social advocacy should reflect the Greenwich setting. Sample questions like what would hinder you in cycling in Greenwich should be considered, a strategy that will manifest focus on the core of the campaign.

Social Marketing Environment

Where are we now?

            Preliminary steps are identified; the first is the determination of program focus and the second is the identification of campaign purpose. The program focus determined is the use of re-cycle cycling campaign to reduce CO2 emissions in Greenwich. Transport is the third leading contributor to carbon footprint of Greenwich. Carbon emissions associated with Greenwich account for 2.53% of the total London emissions in 2005, ranking 21st. The campaign purpose identified is to reduce the number of cars being used in Greenwich. Greenwich remains as a car-dependent borough.

SWOT Analysis

            A SWOT analysis is also conducted to provide an in-depth assessment of the situation. This is a sound strategy considering the fact that there is initially the need to conduct a situational analysis to determine the marketability of re-cycle cycling campaign. Market audit is haphazardly conducted wherein statistics are considered (refer to secondary research).

As such, the strength is evident on the existence of CO2 reduction projects that are currently in operation. These projects include car free day, solar generated electricity, “green” street lighting, energy-efficient homes and household waste recycling systems. The strength would be more appealing if the percentage of reduced CO2 emissions of these specific operations/activities is identified.

Two of the weaknesses are directly pointed on the strengths, however, and that is the lack of awareness of people about these projects. As such, information about CO2 emission reduction does not really reach the target audience. Another weakness is that, for those who are aware, too much pressure is put on the residents to comply with requirements of the project or simply change their practices.

            Opportunities are apparent on the support of major bodies in reducing carbon footprints such as the Carbon Trust. Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company that helps businesses and public to cut carbon emissions through low carbon technologies.  Others include Carbon Footprint, Green 20 Ltd and Green 500. Carbon Footprint provides businesses with carbon management consultancy services; Green 20 Ltd provides cost saving programmes through CO2 reduction services while Green 500 provides rankings of the most energy-efficient organizations.

            Threat directly relates with the campaign which is the access to cycle paths. Local and regional access is a challenge for cyclists especially finding cyclist-friendly roads leading to cycling paths and finding cycling stands. Nonetheless, there are already 370 cycling stands geographically dispersed in Greenwich. How these cycling stands will play a role in the campaign is now the challenge.  

Review of Past and Similar Efforts

            This is the part of the proposal that generally lacks information although when I re-research, I found specific cycling campaigns in Greenwich. Personally, this would potentially be a problem since there could be an overlap and/or redundancy which is not good because the audience of two similar campaigns will be divided and would compete with each other especially in terms of perks.

The campaign is in line with Greenwich Council’s advocacy on promotion of greener transportation. Sustainable methods of transport are achieved through promoting public transport use and green vehicle fleet. The Council is greening its own vehicle fleet as a step to cut carbon dioxide emissions from its own transport. Walking, cycling and/or car-sharing are also encouraged among the workers of the Council. The Council also offers bikeability courses through 15 professionally qualified and nationally accredited cycling teachers Bikeability is a cycle proficiency scheme designed to give cyclists the skills and confidence to ride their bikes.

            There is also a local voluntary cycling group who exist to get more people on bike and organize bike rides and events for all.  

Where do we want to go?

Target Audience, Objectives and Goals

            As already mentioned, the target audience for this re-cycle cycling campaign are driving women aged 17 to 40. This is a sound considering that National Treasure Survey statistics reveal that men teenagers and young adults cycle more than women and men aged between 17 to 30 make five times as many cycling trips than women. This is also to capitalize on the enhanced profile and popularity of women’s cycling because of the success of Olympic gold medalists.

            The main objective is to ‘drop their cars and cycle.’ UK is today enjoying a cycling boom and participation is increasing although it is more inclined on men participants. Cycling opportunities must be therefore created for women with programmes that fit their lifestyle and needs. This is one initiative that appeals to women especially for women who prefer driving than cycling.

            There are at least three strategies utilized to adopt the behavior. For instance, women receive special membership for Greenwich Leisure Ltd; provided with 50% discount off of all facilities for women. Women are also encouraged to go to Cycles UK to rent a bike through swapping their petrol money for pedal power. This is a very important component of the campaign, that is, aside from lowering costs, access is being increased.

Physical inactivity in both men and women increased as social class decreased. The barriers are determined as the lack of physical facilities which include safe walking and cycling routes, unpleasant or hazardous environments and the cost of using leisure facilities. The campaign is developed on the basis of interest on cycling and reducing CO2 emissions and not on spending capacity of the women cyclist as participants.

From a personal standpoint, the re-cycle cycling campaign had developed to be a mediating initiative for those powerful and powerless on a simple act of cycling. As it promotes positive health amongst the women living in Greenwich, it is becoming a collaborative social approach to eliminating the risks of physical inactivity and excessive carbon emissions in the air. The campaign is embedded on the principle of finding an alternative to healthy living which brings together the community regardless of the socioeconomic status.

            Moreover, campaign materials are disseminated to put emphasis on the issues of benefits of cycling and quantifiable goals. To focus on the first, cycling provides people with a greater choice of transport and provided greener, healthier and sustainable way to travel. Likewise, cycling is more easy to use for short trips around London.

            One of the quantifiable goals include reduce congestion on the tubes and buses through encouraging the switch from driving to cycling. Another quantifiable aspect is that cycling is available 24 hours a day and every day of the year.    

Understanding Target Audience

            To understand the target audience more in-depth, women cyclists are assessed using the social cognitive theory and transtheoretical theory. 

Social Cognitive Theory

            The social cognitive theory focuses on intrinsic factors which mean the factors that can encourage women to cycle. These are the motivating factors such as the health and environmental benefits of cycling. Women tend to be more socially aware and wanting to contribute to social advocacies. The theory also views the individual as a product of their environment, which is also true since women especially their behaviors about cycling are shaped by the role of genders on society. As an individual looks at their personal characteristics it is more revealed that their bikeability is not like that of men’s. Lastly, how one responds to their environment are more likely to be influenced by social norms. For instance, women’s attitude about cycling and its dangers is a response why they do not cycle.

People’s effective health-related decision-making will be evident on the extent of women’s participation in cycling toward the development of self-empowerment which could enable people to take action about their health and the health of the society as a whole. Though the re-cycle cycling campaign greatly relies on individual decisions for participation and although the initiative addresses informing participants especially complete beginners, I cannot consider the initiative as a sustainable campaign for Greenwich residents. In sum, the actions presented by the women who choose to cycle will create an impact on the Greenwich community.

To do such, there are four key strategies to implement for achieving women’s confidence on cycling. By virtue of the social cognitive theory, these are: attention, retention, production and motivation. Attention will be achieved through promotion and campaign timeline will be the key in getting recalls. The timeline is from January 2010 to January 2011. Re-cycle cycling is the third element, which will be realized through Cycles UK and Gym via in-store discount of 50%. What will stimulate women to join the campaign is this gym offers.

Transtheoretical Model

            On the other hand, the transtheoretical model evaluates the readiness of an individual to act on a new, healthier behavior. With, this said, the re-cycle cycling campaign aims at increasing physical activity of community residents which are primarily the driving women aged 17 to 40. Various stages of the model will deliver such motivated aim, and these are consciousness raising, self-reevaluation, social liberation and helping relationships. What women need to understand is that organized cycling could have health impacts on individuals by providing an opportunity to distract from everyday stresses as stress contributes to poor health in addition to addressing a behavioral risk factor which is physical inactivity, mitigating risks of climate change through reduced carbon emission in the process.

            In the first stage, there is the need to raise awareness of the cause, consequences and cures of CO2 emissions as an environmental health measure necessary to take. Such that, car pollution is the biggest contributor for higher carbon footprints and air pollution rises in addition to the health hazards that air pollution causes. The campaign also promotes how access to and engaging with the natural environment could likely to improve health and wellbeing and to prevent diseases caused by polluted surrounding. The cure in mind is re-cycle cycling campaign that will not only reduce CO2 emission but will also lead to quality air to breathe. Social liberation will materialize in community gathering or cycling days because this is where the socialization skills of the women cyclists could be enhanced. Relationship building could be also tapped into especially in the cycling days where not only women cyclists are present.

            Having said all of this, what the theories are telling us is that there is a need to convince an individual to change their behavior and adopt a healthier lifestyle. It would be easy to understand that such approach could be delivered effectively because it can be delivered as a part of the felt needs of the women who will participate in the campaign. I should understand, however, that when health persuasion is used in isolation this not always give effective health results or outcomes. As such, the attempt should be supported by trusted organizations within Greenwich to engage more women to participate. The reason behind this is that the changes in their behaviors should be expert driven and approved although the approach tends to overlook the necessity of exploring whether an individual is capable or ready to undergo changes in their lifestyle. The focus on the responsibility of individual does not recognize the relative powerlessness of some and the lack of choice that the situation may impose them but is also critical. This is the aspect that the two theories failed to address.

How we will get there?

Because the campaign is intervention-focused, social marketing will be used. Social marketing aimed at individual level approach wherein media advocacy as the most cost-effective way to bring about important social changes. Social marketing was primarily associated with health problems and thus having continuous dominations of health applications.

8Ps of Social Marketing

            Product is the re-cycle cycling campaign wherein the objective is to promote women cycling by “selling the benefit of cycling to the target audience.” While at the process of health cycling, re-cycle cycling campaign also addresses psychological risks factors of the need to socialize since the setting is on neighborhoods and communities. Cycling journeys provide participants with the opportunity to socialize and good social networks enhance health. The campaign offers the chance to join a health group to keep people motivated while also making friends and discovering new places to walk in the neighborhoods thus it addresses collectivism.

            Prices are not in monetary instead are time, learning process, commitment and lifestyle change. These are basically the price that women have to pay when they commit themselves to learning cycling.  

            In reaching the target audience, Cycles UK shop in Greenwich will play a key role. These are critical since there is the requirement to collect the cycles and select shops. There should be one organization that will cater to the initial needs of women cyclists including information sharing. One difficulty is that the campaign involves decisions and choices that affect other people which require judgments to be made about whether particular courses of action are suitable for them or not. As such, since the campaign is on a communal setting, it should be both people and communal-centric. This means that all should be given access to cycling shops but in the case that some women have the interest but have no money allotted for renting cycles, what will happen.

            For me, autonomy is the strongest point of the re-cycle cycling campaign wherein it considers the voluntary aspect of such initiative, leaving no distinct group or subgroup behind and it can be done at the most convenient time for the woman cyclist. However, special equipment is required and this means leaving behind some members of different groups who may wish to participate in the campaign.

            In terms of marketing the re-cycle cycling campaigns, advertising will be the primary promotional technique. Communication tools will be used although majority of these are visual. It would be plausible if re-cycle cycling logos will be placed on visual portals such as sides of buses, billboards and the Greenwich Borough Council website. Online collaborations could be also achieved especially in social network sites that enable the campaign to be noticed. It is through this that the reach of the campaign will be widened and with the target audience.  

            Women who drive are the members of the general public and who is also the external target audience of the campaign while the internal target audience is the Greenwich Borough Council. Such a campaign will be a team up with among Greenwich Council and other organizations such as Carbon Trust and Cycles UK. For this campaign, a requirement is to build strategic partnerships and/or network so that a multidisciplinary team could work on this. The team therefore needs to be up to date and need professional support to make sure they deliver high quality services. This can be achieved through partnerships, collaborative working and agreed service standards.

First, it is important to develop joint planning and partnership mechanisms and ensure physical health issues that impact on physical health. Development of more systematic partnership would be needed to support the development of health improvement strategies especially for women.

Next, partnership with third sector organizations should be likewise developed to recognize the value that can contribute to further needs assessment, women cyclists’ empowerment and delivery of services. The main reason for this is to build a strong public health base wherein public health intelligence will be used to improve the understanding of women about cycling and how it will affect their wellbeing.

Furthermore, ensuring that there is a strong link between health and education sector would be a significant step. Dialogues between school administrations and students with the aim of the campaign should be considered. This is the main reason why schools should be considered to be consulted. Shared responsiveness could be achieved especially when it comes to educating about cycling and linked service provision.

            Furthermore, the policy applied is an agreement with Cycles UK to allow the Council to partner with them and provide with the requirements of the campaign.

            Funding will be acquired from Carbon Trust where budgets are available until April 2010. Provision of incentive to participate and accessibility will be generally considered in the campaign, and this could mean additional expense. It would be then necessary to reflect all expenses on a detailed budget.

How will we stay on course?


            Evaluation will be three-tier: formative, process and outcome. In formative evaluation, the campaign will be evaluated by means of determining whether participants understood the messages of the campaign and if it is culturally appropriate. It is imperative to design a semi-structured questionnaire to assess the level of understanding of the participants. Further, process evaluation will be conducted during the campaign. These will be both qualitative and quantitative since actual numbers of women cyclists and barriers to implementation will be identified. Outcome evaluation will be quantitative as this will seek to determine the total number women cyclists after the campaign and rate of participation. Evaluation would not be difficult and complicated if there will be a single entity that will conduct such.  

            What will be measured then are the number of bikes rented and gym attendance. Cycles UK is assigned to record information about rented bikes on their databases which will be then transferred to Greenwich Leisure Ltd to monitor the number of women attendees. From this point, the information will be sent to Greenwich Council to allow the evaluation at the end of the campaign and the level of impact made. At the end of the campaign year, the number of women who responded to the campaign will be reviewed. A free bike will be their reward.

Timeline for Re-cycle Cycling Campaign

            The said campaign will run from January 2010 to December 2010, encompassing activities of promotion, PR, cycle days and sponsorships.


            The total budget is £50,000 and it will be dedicated mostly to marketing communication activities such as the promotion for print ads, the Internet, events and sponsorship. The campaign could require increase staff availability and time as well as increase in administration time hence costs would escalate especially when the budget is broken down in details. As much as possible, the campaign should be cost effective. One way of determining whether the re-cycle cycling campaign is effective is through determining the average cost per person for a specified number of target.

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