Social Marketing and First Step

Social Marketing

Hopefully this will be the first of many blogs describing the developments of a practical example of the social marketing approach with First Step, a community based early years project in Musselburgh

What is Social Marketing? In a nutshell “social marketing is an approach used to achieve and sustain behaviour goals on a range of social issues”.  It is based on marketing concepts and techniques but applies these for a “social good or purpose” rather than the sales and profit goals of commercial marketing.

Social marketing is not a theory itself but draws on familiar disciplines such as health promotion, community development, sociology etc and offers a logical planning process to help achieve behaviour change

There are a number of core concepts and principles underpinning social marketing  and for more detail there are two very helpful websites to explore: the National Social Marketing Centre and the Scottish version which is currently hosted at the following address

What’s Happening Locally?

  • Social Marketing presentation to First Step staff in March
  • Steering group set up to oversee developments. This group will be reporting into the Support from the Start Planning Board. The steering group is chaired by myself and has membership from Health Visiting, Community Learning and Development, First Step, CHP Health Improvement Team and ELC Early Years and Childcare.
  • Initial scoping started with parents and carers that attend First Step
  • 3-day Social Marketing training attended by two steering group members
  • Representatives from West Dunbartonshire Equally Well test site invited to the Steering Group to discuss their social marketing approach with tobacco use

Next Step

  • To support First Step users identify their priority health behaviour issues

For any further information on this development, please get in touch with or tel 0131 536-3535

Growing Up in Scotland Study

Below are links to four interesting reports highlighted at the Growing Up in Scotland conference which Steven mentioned in his blog from 24th March

The circumstances of persistently poor children

Health inequalities in the early years

Maternal mental health and its impact on child behaviour and development

Children’s social, emotional and behavioural characteristics at entry to primary school

For more information about the Growing Up in Scotland, visit their website:

Vulnerable Families Pathway Project

NHS Quality Improvement Scotland have been leading the development of the Vulnerable Families Pathway Framework which aims to ensure that vulnerable children (from conception to age 3) and families in all parts of Scotland receive equity of support that is proportionate, effective and timely.


The objectives are to:

• Develop a multiprofessional and multi-agency framework for pregnancy and early years to implement or enhance local pathways of support for children and families with additional needs.

• Support the delivery of GIRFEC as the common approach to ongoing seamless assessment and care planning from pregnancy through the early years within a multiprofessional and multi-agency context.

• Develop guidance to support a consistent approach to meeting the needs of children and families.


What the framework does:

The framework draws together the available evidence and gives clarity of application.


The framework ( draft-framework1) is now out for consultation. The consultation period is from Monday 8th March 2010 – Friday 11th June 2010. Please take the time to read and consider this framework and send your comments, as an individual or a group of professionals. Comments can be sent using the feedback template to or via an on-line survey which can be found on our project website


In East Lothian, if you would like a hard copy of the draft framework please contact Pauline McLaren, , 01620 829947