Actually, they have already arrived!
Tuesday marks day two of the World Social Marketing Conference in Brighton & Hove City England. From what I heard through Twitter yesterday, the conference is quite good! My fellow social marketing blogger Alex Rampy has a poster session at the conference, and gives a nice report of the first day. If you want to follow events on Twitter, Alex reports that "Dr. Stephen Dann is commanding the Twittering front @WSMC, and you can following using Twitter Search #WSMC08." (Yesterday was the first day I used Twitter! If I can do it, you can do it!) Sponsors of the conference include the The National Social Marketing Centre, England, The University of Lethbridge, Canada, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Speaking of the National Social Marketing Centre, they have been a strong proponent of social marketing in the United Kingdom. The process the centre undertook to explore the usefulness of social marketing, then to promote it in the UK's government, is something to envy and emulate! Their web site contains a number of informative and stimulating case studies, reports and presentations on social marketing and its applications.
Scotland is home to the The Institute for Social Marketing, a collaboration of the University of Stirling and the Open University. The institute has played a seminal role in promoting tobacco control in the UK. Their web site provides succinct case studies of this and other initiatives, as well as a rich bibliography of the institute's research.
In Wales, faculty at the University of Cardiff Business School teach classes in social marketing, produce excellent academic publications on the topic, and are active in building social marketing capacity in country and in the UK.
Jump back across the pond, and many of you will remember having seen Bob Marshall's recent post on the Georgetown Social Marketing List-serve about efforts to establish a professional social marketing organization in the US. Bob created an anonymous survey to gain input into the goals and structure of such an organization. Please take a moment to complete the survey if you have not! You can follow efforts to develop a professional organization on Bob's blog USSocialMarketingPlan.
Bob received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award last summer to study how the United Kingdom has promoted social marketing, beginning at the highest levels of government. He chronicled his experiences in the blog, BroadStreetPump-RI. He used insights from his experiences to inform efforts to create US social marketing organization.