Journal of Social Marketing, Volume 6, Issue 3, July 2016.
Purpose This study seeks to better understand the micro-meso-macro perspective in social marketing, through the examination of a transformative, primarily meso-level initiative aimed at developing more resilient communities in the face of disaster. Design/methodology/approach Research was oriented around two cases of community resilience planning. Relevant documents were reviewed, and a series of semi-structured interviews with the manager and advisors in an emergency management office were conducted, followed by in-depth interviews with 15 individual community participants. Findings The findings suggest a multilevel (micro-meso-macro) model of social change, incorporating fluid, interactive movement between the levels. In the context examined, community leaders were initially motivated to be involved due to their role, sense of altruism and curiosity. Their motivation to continue was encouraged as misconceptions around emergency response were addressed and the value of community connections was highlighted. As planning progressed, greater involvement and empowerment resulted. Research limitations/implications This study is limited in its focus on two communities, and the context of emergency preparation and response. However, it contributes insights into a leading initiative designed to help build community resilience, and insights into a micro-meso-macro level perspective of social change. Practical implications The study also suggests that social marketers, when implementing a meso-level initiative, will benefit from considering multiple levels, seeking the involvement and cooperation of meso-level leaders which will help facilitate downstream change. Originality/value Contributing to the discussion of the micro-meso-macro levels of social marketing, this research examines disaster preparation and response – a context not frequently examined in social marketing. Findings suggest that interactive, multi-level thinking, especially considering the individual implementers of meso-level change as a “target market,” will benefit social well-being initiatives