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Social Media: A Public Health Priority

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Chris Miller

on 31 October 2014

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Transcript of Social Media: A Public Health Priority

Social Media: A Public Health Priority
Local Health Department Utilization Data
Keys to Social Media Communication

We know that Social Media isn't for everyone, but think about your organizational goals!
Why Social Media?
What do we want our media to look like? We have a lot of options!
Don't dive into everything at the same time! Pick one media outlet and start from there...
Numbers? Short Messages? Long Messages? Photos? Video?
Local Health Department Utilization Data

The NAACHO published a study in January that interviews 2,532 of the nations 2,800 local health departments about their use of social media - this is what they found:

44% active on Facebook

18% active on Twitter

12% active on YouTube
Data helps to engage our audience - we hope to draw a reaction when we use numbers in regards to health issues
Elicits questions AND answers
Start Talking. Stop HIV.
Empowers patients, individuals, and the community
Continues the conversation
Cultivates relationship building
Easy and effective way of reaching very large, very diverse audiences
Extremely cost-effective
Reputation builder
Community mobilization

Personalization - Presentation - Participation
Local Health Department Utilization
Personalization & Participation

-Who is our audience?

-What are our goals?

-Where do we start?

- How can we start a conversation?

- What can we do around health messaging?

What is Social Media?
Social Media refers to the interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks
Key Findings from LHD Capacity Assessment Survey
Lets take a look at the principles of social media engagement...
Principles of Social Media Engagement
1. Listening to Social Media Conversations
We can use social media to identify the health information needs of users
2. Engaging with Partners and Influencers and their Conversations
Through monitoring social media, health organizations can identify key partners and public health influencers driving online conversations
3. Responding to Questions or Comments received
Social media channels are a powerful tool for service, and can demonstrate that organizations are listening and paying attention to conversations around them
4. Create Opportunities for Users to Engage with your Organization and each other
5. Welcome and Solicit User-Generated Content
Each of the previous principles carries an overarching goal of increasing community engagement
Goal: Increasing community engagement!
Data and storytelling - the two most important pieces...
Needle Prick Project
Unfortunately, we all know that data and statistics can get very complex, very messy, and very overwhelming
We want to be able to integrate this into our outreach efforts, so what do we do?
Substance over methodology
Avoid distortion
Encourage the eye
Data at several levels
Clear purpose (90% of information enters your brain visually)
Barriers Influencing the use of Social Media
In-House Capacity
Knowledge among staff and department
Amount of funding
Access to technical support
"It doesn't matter if an account is free if you don't know how to use it well and if no one knows about it"
Possible solution: Social Media Intern
"In a small district with limited resources, learning from others can catapult me years ahead"
Does anyone currently have an Intern working with their health department?
Barriers Influencing the use of Social Media
Leadership and support policies
Lack of support for social media initiatives from LHD leadership
Share best practices and advance an evidence base
LHD's should share and discuss internal policies with other LHD's
Issues with policies to inform program development and platform use
"Use of social media has to be encouraged from the top down"
Barriers Influencing the use of Social Media
Legal and security issues
Federal agencies should provide LHDs with guidance on federal laws
"We don't want to set everything up only to have it all shut down by the legal department"
"Guidelines and policies are needed because everything we produce through social media is a public, discoverable document"
Barriers Influencing the use of Social Media
"Virtual connections are the only way to communicate with large numbers of people at once"
"We must always be mindful of access - can people receive the messages we are pushing?"
"New platforms should supplement, not replace, current communication systems"
I Will Survive
Encourage users to share their stories, participate in message creation, and collaborate on ideas and strategies
Social networking site that initially started as site that was only for Harvard students
As of today, Facebook has around 1.3 billion users worldwide
600 million of those users are mobile subscribers
48% of all users login at least once a day
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send 140 character text messages called "tweets"
An estimated 645,750,000 users
Birthplace of the "hashtag"
Serves as a great data source
Twitter also serves as a great data source
Using the location of specific tweets and location data of reported HIV cases, researchers at UCLA and Virginia Tech were able to determine that the area of those tweets matched the areas where the highest numbers of HIV cases were recorded - the study focused on behavior and prediction of behaviors
The researchers used an algorithm and found that out of more than 550 million tweets surveyed, right around 10,000 tweets contained words or phrases that suggested risky behavior - phrases like #GetHigh #Sex
Especially in regards to Partner Services work, we should do what we can to continue efforts and increase opportunities for public engagement, collaboration, and participation
So, why Social Media?
A word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) that is used to identify messages on a specific topic - you can make a hashtag about literally anything...
After looking at this survey data, we can see that there are some hurdles to utilizing social media, but there are also opportunities for utilizing it as well...
National Testing Day 2014
Things to be Mindful Of...
Engagement - it is participatory and reciprocal
Online communities are formed by individuals who organize themselves around a given issue
Online conversations (about health) are driven by 2 forces:
- 1) The availability of social tools
- 2) The motivation, especially among people living with chronic conditions, to connect with each other
Social media users expect you to listen, respond, and interact!
The potential impact of social media on health behavior change
Addressing misinformation on the internet
Deliver a constant stream of diverse, compelling content

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