PHAC Webinars – Community Based Social Marketing Training

The Public Health Agency of Canada will soon be launching two capacity building programs exclusively for community based organizations working to address sexually transmitted and blood borne infections in Canada. This email describes the Community Based Social Marketing Training, the first in the series of upcoming training opportunities. The second training will focus on the effective use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and is scheduled to start in September 2014.


At its core, social marketing is an approach that seeks to change behaviour in your target audience. Social marketing is not just about raising awareness, or sharing information just to improve people’s knowledge – it actually sets out to help people improve their health through changes in their behaviour. These behaviours can be infrequent ones such as getting tested – or ongoing behaviours like consistent condom use. Social marketing influences behaviour by promoting the benefits associated with those changes and helping overcome the barriers to making them.

Understanding and applying social marketing approaches is of particular benefit when dealing with issues related to STBBI, as their transmission between individuals is almost always a behavioural issue. Social marketing is not just about large-scale campaigns undertaken by large NGOs. Rather, it’s an approach that can be applied to how you design your services and to all of the communication activities you undertake (such as Facebook postings, pamphlets, and public presentations), regardless of how big your organization is.


A lot of people get social marketing confused with social media communications. While you can certainly use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your messages, social media are only a few of the communication channels used by social marketers.

The training is delivered via webinar and is provided over three separate modules. The first module provides an introduction to social marketing and how it works, and discusses the stages of planning and identifying your target audience. The first module also provides a brief introduction to identifying the behaviour you hope to influence, the barriers your audience faces in adopting that behaviour, developing a social marketing strategy, and how to go about monitoring and evaluating your efforts –all of which are then covered in greater detail through Modules Two and Three.

If you have experience in Social Marketing you may not find new information about social marketing in Module One, but you will benefit from participating in the more detailed and technical information provided in Modules Two and Three. Depending on your level of skill you may wish to select specific webinars or attend all three.


Social marketing training will be provided starting in late May and running through to mid-June.  Module One – An Introduction to Social Marketing – will be offered twice in English. Each webinar is 90 minutes in duration. Invitations to register for the webinars will be sent in the coming days.


ENGLISH (all times EST) FRENCH (all times EST)
May 23: 1:00pm – 2:30pm June 3: 10:00am – 11:30am
May 28: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

June 3: 2:00pm – 3:30pm June 11: 10:00am – 11:30am

June 11: 2:00pm – 3:30pm June 18: 2:00pm – 3:30pm


Password: CBSM
and then select the sessions you want to attend.


Completing the Social Marketing training will give you the skills necessary to develop service and communication approaches that can influence behaviour change effectively.

You will receive copies of each training presentation you attend and access to recordings of the training webinars

You will receive a Community Based Social Marketing Planning Guide for STBBIs that will provide ongoing assistance in the planning and execution of Social Marketing approaches

You will receive access to additional online social marketing tools and resources

Organizations that attend each training webinar will be provided with three months of free phone consultations on related topics, with an expert in social marketing

Finally, future funding applicants to the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS and the Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program who are proposing to use social marketing approaches with their communications, policy, services, awareness or public relations will be expected to demonstrate expertise and skill reflecting the planning and implementation elements provided through Agency training or other sources of social marketing training.