From Pachyderms to Podcasting…
I remember the exact moment it happened. It was 3:00 A.M., and I was up with my 6-month-old daughter—the plight of a new parent. As I perused the internet and rocked her in the dead of night, I came across an article on the rapid disappearance of the rhinoceros in South Africa. This was my first introduction to the seriousness of the poaching crisis; poachers were killing rhinos in vast quantities to satisfy an insatiable demand for rhino horn from Asian markets. I have always been an animal lover, and with my brand new daughter in my arms I became direly concerned that she may grow up in a world bereft of this majestic animal. I knew I had to do something.
I didn’t know it at the time, but reading that article would begin my journey into social marketing. I wanted to help the plight of the rhino, and it was while trying to answer the daunting question of where to start that I began digging into research on consumer habits, branding, audience analysis, and behavioral economics. It was only after completing an extremely laborious project—my first graduate research project aimed at reducing rhino horn in Viet Nam—that I discovered an entire field of study that draws from all of these topics: social marketing. While literature in the field of social marketing would have been nice before developing the 30-page plan, I was empowered to know exactly where to focus my future efforts.
I had a great experience with my graduate program in strategic communication, but soon I graduated and my studies came to a halt. My graduate program had given me the foundation to be successful in my efforts to reduce the demand for rhino horn, but my journey was just beginning. I was ready to specialize, and I needed to be a part of a community where mentorship and conversations focused on social marketing—particularly demarketing—concepts. I didn’t know where to look for such a community, and my rhino project stalled.
While this feeling of isolation was deeply frustrating, it also sparked an idea. If I was searching for this kind of connection to a community, others out there might be experiencing the same feelings. What if there was a way to have the conversations I was thirsting for and provide a way for others to be privy to those conversations as well? Hence, the idea for the Re-Quilibrium podcast was born.
The idea behind the Re-Quilibrium podcast is to advance the connection within the vibrant and passionate social marketing community. There are a number of amazing resources and conglomerations that exist to connect those working in the field, and this podcast is my attempt to complement and contribute to those efforts by utilizing a newly emerging communication platform: podcasting. The value of this podcast comes from the value of conversation, an on-going conversation to better understand what’s going on, who’s doing what, and ultimately what’s working. While admittedly cathartic for me in my need to participate in meaningful conversations about social marketing, this podcast is a far-reaching way to provide free content to anyone who wants it.
My journey in social marketing is still in its nascent stages, and I am excited to see where this road takes me. As I hope my journey illustrates, I am not an expert in social marketing. Not even close. That is why I am even more excited for the fruitful conversations ahead on the Re-Quilibrium podcast. These podcast episodes give a large amount of people free access to conversations largely had between colleagues, mentors, advisors, and students—access that is invaluable to those who have yet to make those strong connections. And just maybe the podcast is also for the people who find themselves awake with a baby at 3:00 A.M.