A multidirectional communication model: implications for social marketing practice

Health Promot Pract. 2009 Apr;10(2):171-5. doi: 10.1177/1524839908330729.


The landscape of sending and receiving information has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. The communication process is changing from being unidirectional to multidirectional as consumers are becoming active participants by creating, seeking, and sharing information using a variety of channels and devices. The purpose of this article is to describe how this shift in the communication process- where gatekeepers control the creation and content of information and consumers are less active recipients to one that reflects a multidirectional and more dynamic process with participative consumers-will affect the social marketing process. This shift in communication does not represent an option for social marketers so much as a necessity. As professionals respond to this evolving communication model, the practice of social marketing can remain vibrant as a relevant consumer-oriented approach to behavior change.

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Internet
  • Social Marketing*