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How to change behaviors in the right direction

10 minute read
Behavioural change campaigns help governments act more effectively and thus save taxpayer money provided it is implemented as intended.
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Behavioural change campaigns help governments act more effectively and thus save taxpayer money provided it is implemented as intended. These campaigns include moving from costly communication channels (by phone or in-person) towards online self-service sources that reduce the need for employees and thus allocate resources and budgets to other priorities.

The most prominent example of this is the successful transformation of communication channels in Birmingham City Municipality during the school enrolment period. The municipality used targeted emails sent in a timely manner to anticipate residents' need for information and avoid contacting the municipality. Besides proactive communication, The municipality of Birmingham uses an interactive voice response system to guide people towards using online self-service. During the 2018 school registration period, The municipality has reduced the number of phone calls by 72 percent, equivalent to more than 13,000 euros in savings in just one week.

Behavioral change to improve and save more lives

At its best, Behavioral change campaigns improve and save lives as well. Health campaigns are the most prominent campaigns aimed at raising awareness, understanding and taking action. For example, The Change4Life campaign encourages exercise and eating less unhealthy food. Cancer Research recommends getting advice early if symptoms last more than three weeks.

In the context of vehicle and road safety, Injuries and deaths can be avoided if people refrain from certain risky practices. That's why many organizations and companies prioritize effective communication to raise awareness and understanding of safe driving practices. Effective communication, easy access to information, support and strategic interventions contribute to changing behaviors and reducing dangerous driving and fatal traffic accidents.

The Six Principles of Persuasion that Guide Decision-Making

Many of us at different stages of our lives need help to make better decisions. Our practices (in our daily lives, work or in exceptional situations) are influenced by several factors. These factors include past experiences (whether our own or others's), the nature of the people around us, the information available, the potential risks, the repercussions and gains of our choices, the ease of making a choice, the feelings and circumstances we experience at that moment, and many more.

You may think that having plenty of information on hand is enough to guide them towards making a good choice or taking the "right" action. Despite the great importance of effective dissemination of information, It is certainly not enough to motivate us to take action. Little by little, it is becoming clear that man by nature prefers to see a model that can be easily followed.

We need shortcuts and rules that guide us in decision-making in our stressful lives. In his creative book Influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini lists six principles of persuasion that are shortcuts we can use:

• Interchangeability


• Power



• Consensus

• Community Engagement

The last principle of persuasion concerns the theory of social evidence. Man prefers to be under the leadership of others and to be part of a group. In other words, We have the following idea, "If everyone around me does something, I have to do it too without missing the opportunity." For example When a friend or family member advises you for a product or service, you are very likely to take their advice seriously. Nelson reports that the most influential advertising medium is recommendations from friends and family, with 83% of users in 60 countries stating that they trust these recommendations more than any other advertising medium.

The issue of the message, the source and the public trust is of great importance, but I will talk about it in another article. But we now know that trust in government agencies has reached its lowest level in a long time (according to Edelman) and therefore the government sector must work effectively to gain the trust of individuals.

On this point, many of them arise, How does the entity in which you work apply these principles? Do you adhere to transparency and listen to the opinions and suggestions it receives? Do you use social proof in advertising campaigns to reach the audience faster? If your organization's "voice" isn't heard enough, Would you consider using social proof methods as individual testimonies to help convince more people to "hear" it and then "do" what is required of them?

Social guide in practice

It is not strange to see a lot of communication campaigns in all sectors that take advantage of social proof in an ethical way to increase their sales, attract more people to adopt a service, and encourage certain behaviors.

The most prominent example of this was the use of social proof to promote "recycling rewards" initiatives launched by municipalities, including London's Hackney district. These initiatives encourage recycling behaviors by offering incentives and celebrating community achievements. The Kirlis region has also implemented communication techniques that drive recycling practices and indirectly convince others – away from urging – to act in a positive and effective way in a way that gives individuals a sense of being "out of the ordinary." The Kirliz municipality team is doing well in communication in several areas, but recycling updates are really commendable, especially when a single email reduces pollution by 50 percent.

Engaging companies and entrepreneurs in safe practices

The need for support and encouragement to live healthy lives in accordance with the law is not only limited to the community but also to businesses. The IP Office should communicate and engage companies, especially entrepreneurs who do not have much knowledge of IP. Intellectual property includes copyrights, trademarks, design and patents and the absence or misuse of them negatively affects the functioning of markets. Special methods can be used to enable companies to protect their creations, take advantage of the rights they own and avoid infringing the intellectual property of other companies.


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