#inspire me: Social marketing thought leader Professor Jeff French

We all need a little inspiration along our journeys so I am delighted to share with you some wise words from the global thought leader in social marketing Professor Jeff French.

#inspireme is a series of posts from change-makers and communicators dedicated to making a positive difference in our world.

The idea is that by sharing what inspires us we will fuel and energise like-minded people to keep doing what they do best and carpie diem their day.

It can feel pretty personal to shout out to the world who or what it is that gets you out of bed everyday, so a huge thank you to you Professor French and to everyone that is collaborating.

Head shot of Professor Jeff French

Over to you Professor Jeff French

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Labor omnia vincit”  the Latin phrase meaning “Work conquers all” adapted from Virgil’s Georgics book. Hard work, constant reflection and questioning is I believe the bedrock of understanding.

Who inspires you?

My mother and my wife are my two biggest inspirations both are strong, compassionate wise people.”

In terms of social policy development I have been and continue to be inspired by the tenacity, insight and intellectual brilliance of Friedrich Hayek and how his case for citizen centric social and economic policy is as relevant today as it was when Hayek was alive.

In terms of social marketing, like everyone I stand on the shoulders of our colleagues. I am continuously inspired by the many fantastic people working today around the world on applying and developing social marketing theory and practice.

What advice would you give to your younger self embarking on your career? 

Don’t set out to find yourself this is an illusion, rather set out to build yourself day by day by day. Never stop asking questions of yourself and others and  never stop listening and reading.

Finally I would tell my younger self that it is not going to be easy and sometimes is going to be very hard but if you set your mind right to accept and learn from both success and failure it will also be a lot of fun.

Text with words to younger self. "I would tell my younger self that it is not going to be easy and sometimes it is going to be very hard but if you set your mind right to accept and learn from both success and failure it will also be a lot of fun.

60 second bio

  • Professor Jeff French’s contribution to social marketing stretches across 29 countries. As CEO of Strategic Social Marketing he has worked with NGO’s, private sector companies, government departments and agencies on behavioural programmes related to:  health, transport, safety, drug misuse, sexual health, gambling, forestry, environmental issues, recruitment, obesity and animal health and service reconfiguration.
  • Jeff is the returning Conference Chair for the World Social Marketing Conference hosted in Edinburgh on 4th & 5th June 2019. Bringing practitioners together from all over the world to share, learn and collaborate. (Hopefully see you there!)
  • His latest book Social Marketing & Public Health 2017 includes studies from developed and developing countries, offering a global perspective on theory and practice. This latest update has additional sections on social franchising and digital marketing to improve health.

Leave a Reply