Friday, September 30, 2011

Abstract Reflections

As the semester closes, HOT Love concludes the first phase of its project after a one-month campaign, which yielded promising results. Take note, it says first phase, not the project as a whole. My co-administrators and I feel that we should not let our efforts go down the drain; we can definitely do more. As I texted Grace and Mia the other day, I want to treat HOT Love as my personal social responsibility, another advocacy under World of Womanity. (And my groupmates can pursue their own initiatives unless we will have the time to converge once again.)

So, just to fulfill the last of DEVC208's requirements, I am sharing the abstract of our group's final report, as well as some of my reflections on the project.


Helping Our Teens (HOT) Love is a social marketing and social mobilization project with the aim of increasing awareness on dating violence as a form of Violence Against Women (VAW) among 18 to 24 year-old males and females. The idea espoused by the project was to positively reinforce the good reasons young people engage into relationships with the opposite sex. The project utilized Facebook as a focal point for its audiences but, at the same time, supplemented its online efforts with other online social marketing and social mobilization activities involving “informal” marketing partners such as local government councils and offices, non-government organizations, schools, and media. Essentially, these partners consist the campaign’s secondary audience helping the project multiply its reach. Statistical analysis show that HOT Love had 11,214 views, 192 fans, and 86 post feedbacks at the end of its one-month campaign, indicating the number of people reached and made to become interested. Most importantly, HOT Love brought together people to rally behind eliminating dating violence thereby, demonstrating the strong potential of Facebook in conducting social marketing and social mobilization projects.

HOT Love can be accessed at URL:


1. On Implementing a Social Marketing and Social Mobilization Program
I have always thought that social marketing and social mobilization are two of the most exciting development communication applications. That is why I was more than eager to embark on this group term project. Realizing that the project allows me to test science in a real-life (or should I say more virtual) setting, I took the bold move of coming up with my own topic--one that I feel passionate about--and selling it on the DEVC208 kapihan forum in the moodle. Thankfully, more passionate and able people got attracted to WOMEN.

2. On the application of social marketing and social mobilization frameworks in the virtual world/context
Being a firm believer of the wise use of social media, I found the rules of the term project very timely and relevant. I have noticed how two-faced social media can be. On one side, it can be very useful in generating awareness, mobilizing volunteers and combating abuses as in the case of the Para Kay Jan-Jan campaign, among others. On the other hand, social media can be very harmful as it has the capability of propagating hatred over the most trivial matters.

I thought of coming up with this blog, after consulting Dr. Bandalaria, as my own simple way of telling people that, hey, social media ain't that evil at all!

Technically speaking, I saw no significant differences in the application of social marketing and social mobilization frameworks to a virtual context. Although I believe that activities implemented on a virtual or online platform must be complemented and/or supplemented by activities in the actual setting. What do I mean by this? For HOT Love, we complemented our online strategies with actual ones that include tapping our real-world connections and presenting the campaign to forums where either our primary or secondary audiences are present. In fact, we have tapped "informal" marketing partners (who were actually our secondary audience) such as local government councils and media to help us increase viewership, participation and action.

While our real-world engagements mostly had social marketing as purpose, it would definitely be more effective if these will be supplemented by additional activities that bring together more groups and more people to rally behind the cause. This is with the aim of creating a direct impact on eliminating dating violence among our young people.

3. On online collaboration to do course requirements such as this term project; problems encountered and solutions
Please view my post on Teamwork.

4. On what I enjoyed the most in this online collaboration
Do I need to say more?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Let's spread "HOT Love"

Helping Our Teans (HOT) Love is a social marketing and social mobilization project under the Master of Development Communication Program of the University of the Philippines Open University. It aims to help eliminate dating violence among teens, which is a form of violence against women (VAW), through social media.

Attaining the project's objectives requires a two-pronged approach. One, HOT Love seeks to empower young women such that they can proactively prevent the incidence of dating violence. At the same time, HOT Love intends to develop gender sensitivity among young men as a means of ensuring that no forms of dating violence will ever be committed.

Stop dating violence.
Help Our Teens Love with respect.
Join HOT Love.

(Like us on Facebook)

1. Manila Bulletin Press Release: Manila Bulletin. Up students develop site to campaign against dating violence. URL: Uploaded: 12 September 2011.


Doing a social marketing and social mobilization project as a team has its ups and downs.

Advantages include a network that is at least four times the size of my own, which is vital to the success of the project, especially since it relies on numbers (viewership, interest, etc.) for its success indicators. Aside from this, more people means more heads and less tasks than having to go solo although this advantage takes me to the other side of the coin . . .

There is a tendency for brainstorming to remain unfocused, especially when discussions are 99 percent of the time made online. E-groups, while useful, cannot suffice for face-to-face meetings. Video conference (Skype, YM or Facebook Chat) may be a good option but apparently, nothing in real-time complements the schedule of team members who are balancing the demands of work, home and school since all of us in the team have child(ren). We rely on mobile phone calls and short messaging service for real-time / urgent correspondences.

Nonetheless, I am extremely pleased to know that our group is blessed with talents and connections. We have a graphic artist, a couple of writers and editors, and a team with the gift of gab to promote, promote, promote!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

John&Yoko's BED PEACE (1969): A Social Marketing Project

Since I am blogging (or making journal entries) about the processes involved in the development of my group's social marketing project, I thought about sharing BED PEACE, a 1969 candid film of Yoko Ono and John Lennon. (Free viewing only this weekend. Click here.)

Two things caught my attention:

1. John (and Yoko)'s far-reaching message to peace activists/advocates

And I quote Yoko: "What we said then could have been said now. In fact, there are things that we said then in the film, which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the activists of today... Let’s remember WAR IS OVER if we want it. It’s up to us, and nobody else. John would have wanted to say that."

2. The two were already implementing social marketing way back in the late '60s

The concept of social marketing can be traced back to Gerhard Weibe who was quoted saying, "Why can't you sell brotherhood like you sell soap?" However, I find the fact that icons like John&Yoko were aware of such concept during their time.

This appears in the write up below the video:

"They approached the task with the same entrepreneurial expertise as an advertising agency selling a brand of soap powder to the masses. John & Yoko’s product however was PEACE, not soft soap, and they were determined to use any slogan, event and gimmick in order to persuade the World to buy it."

Image Source:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time for a tête-à-tête

Upon realizing that some crucial matters cannot be agreed upon through email, the group decided that it's time for us to finally sit down and discuss our project in real time. But before I go ahead with sharing what has transpired, let me clarify first that the group has not had any argument or misunderstanding. The thing is, we found it hard to focus on a particular issue on our topic of choice, Violence Against Women and Children, because of all our exciting thoughts. Aside from this, we had difficulty scheduling a chat session so we had some delays in responses. As a result, we had to utilize short messaging service for us to instantly connect with each other.

Since Len has dropped out of the course while Mia is based in Cagayan Valley, there were only three of us who can meet in Metro Manila. We had to cancel our first schedule as I had to rush my daughter to the hospital. We then re-scheduled the meeting on the next Saturday wherein sadly, Dennis had to beg off due to an urgent work matter.

What was supposed to be a group meeting became a tête-à-tête with Grace. Given that time was our most scarce resource, we thought of just discussing and agreeing on our concept before finally presenting it to the rest of the group. We shall then integrate their comments and recommendations into our social marketing and mobilization plan.

* * *

Meeting Grace was a refreshing experience. Aside from sharing the same passion for DevCom, we found several similarities that made us stay a bit longer with our kids, sipping warm drinks and enjoying our conversation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Virtual Beginnings

The science and art of "selling" social ideas are very exciting concepts to learn for DevCom students. And putting them into practice is undeniably a challenging yet, surely fulfilling experience.

Such things await those taking up DEVC 208 or Social Marketing and Social Mobilization for Development at the UP Open University this semester. The climax of this course is the group term project where we are to explore the potential of ICTs for Social Marketing Program.

Anyone can post threads in the course discussion forums at the student Moodle

Believing that groups bound by interest are most likely to become more productive than those who don't--I hope it's true, I posted an announcement at the DEVC208 Kapehan. Guess what? I have classmates who are not only interested on gender-related topics; they are even well-experienced on the field. It didn't take long to complete a group of five. We're four females and a male namely, by order of confirmation, Grace Cortes,  City Information Officer II who had several gender projects in the City of San Juan; Dennis Mendoza, a Presidential Staff Officer of the National Youth Commission; Mauritius-based Aileen Familara who have been working on gender issues as a staff of a feminist organization since 2002; Mia Baquiran, a Community Affairs Officer in the Province of Cagayan; and of course, me, a development worker, feminist blogger and proud solo parent.