Development of a media strategy to promote the size acceptance movement
The researcher attempted to design a media strategy for the size acceptance movement based on a social marketing framework. The literature of size acceptance organizations was studied to learn about the movement's stated goals and objectives. The marketing theories of Ries & Trout (1993), the social marketing techniques of Kotler & Roberto (1989), and Espy (1993), and some case histories of social marketing campaigns were studied and outlined. This outline was then used as a framework for the proposed media strategy.
The size acceptance movement attempts to create social change through advocacy, education, and support activities. The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination and other size acceptance groups are trying to educate the public about the latest research into the causes of obesity. Through educational programs in schools the movement is attempting to shape positive attitudes about size diversity and to prevent the development of poor self image and eating disorders. Through local chapters and on-line networks, organizations in the movement provide a supportive environment and resources for large people.
Developing a media strategy for the size acceptance movement is challenging for many reasons: the movement has many goals and activities which can not be summed up in one slogan or message, its messages are not all meant for the same target audience, there is no one organization that speaks for the movement but rather several cooperative but independent organizations, it is a group of not-for-profit organizations with limited resources and the resources of the diet industry far outweigh them, there is a strong social stigma against fat, and there are confusing messages about the health risks of overweight.
The media strategy outlines the goals of the movement that could be aided or achieved through the use of electronic media, focuses those goals into content messages, identifies the target audiences for those messages and includes recommendations for the use of broadcast media, video, and websites.
A social marketing campaign using videotaped public service announcements is described. The campaign design attempts to promote size tolerance to the general public using the slogan "People come in all shapes and sizes—one size does not fit all."
0708: Mass media