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Using digital storytelling to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness: Real, bold and defined social marketing strategies
Digital storytelling, where a person appears in a video on a social media platform, has for some time been used to encourage audiences to reconsider their attitudes towards mental illness. Marketing the experiences of vulnerable people, however, is a risky undertaking that must be addressed carefully. This paper presents three strategies to consider when designing such campaigns: real, bold and defined. The paper provides an in-depth examination of the three strategies, using examples to illustrate how they can be incorporated into a marketing plan. It concludes with a review of the key issues to consider in order to protect those willing to tell their stories, and discusses the potential implications for mental health organisations and social marketing professionals.
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Michael Nycyk is a researcher affiliated with the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. His research interests include the development of policy with respect to negative online behaviours; internet and online marketing; the motivations of computer hackers; and the use of technology by groups marginalised by the digital divide. He has worked with mental health organisations to support their social media strategies and advocacy, with a particular focus on campaigns to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. As part of his efforts to help minimise the digital divide, he has also taught computer skills to older adults and those living with disabilities.
Craig Mack is a social media and content strategist, social media manager and voluntary manager of TEDx Sydney, social media lecturer at private and public colleges and universities, speaker, blogger and mental health advocate. He also advises the New South Wales government on mental health policy. As an ambassador for Australian mental health welfare organisation R U OK, he has a genuine appreciation for the lived experiences of people with mental health issues. He has also assisted with the design of effective social media campaigns for a number of high-profile international organisations.