Written by Julie Hentz.
There is a hole left in the Social Marketing Community, created by the loss of Susan Kirby upon her passing, December 27th. It was a crucial space she filled through her commitment to social marketing as a successful framework for social change in the public health arena and unique because it combined her extensive experience in both academic foundations and practice. Susan was tireless in giving her time to diverse channels that marketed the successes of Social Marketing. She guided others in the field through mentoring and by example.
Susan’s class at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) University was one of my first introductions to Social Marketing back in 2002. I had come to CDC from work at JWalterThompson Ad Agency and from owning my own corporate ad agency for many years. The idea that I could use my knowledge of and experience with marketing theory to benefit human health and welfare by promoting personal choice and accessibility was inspiring.
Susan and I became friends through shared events and CDC activities over the years, and more recently becoming business partners. I valued her friendship greatly, her laughter, and her sense of fun. She was a genuine person with a very big heart. The Social Marketing Field has benefitted greatly from Susan’s many contributions to it. She is missed by all who are fortunate enough to have known her.
Here is the Social Marketing Quarterly’s (SMQ) Tribute to Susan for those who may have missed it.