247783 Creating a Social Media Campaign Targeting a Large, Ethnically Diverse Community

Monday, October 31, 2011

Karen Robinson-Salley, MA, BA , Department of Marketing and Business Development, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
Cagney Stigger, MPH, BS , Health Assessment and Promotion/Office of Chronic Disease Prevention/Office of Epidemiology and Statistics, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
Carlynn Pearson, BA , Department of Marketing and Business Development, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
Martellis Hughes , Department of Marketing and Business Development, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
Health communication is the science of communicating health matters to the general population in a way that maximizes impact on behavior, policy, systems and environmental change. One recent evolution is social media. In DeKalb County, under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a large social media campaign was developed to address the disproportionate burden of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in a way that is sensitive to the cultural and ethnic divide.

DeKalb County is the most densely populated and ethnically diverse county in Georgia. In an effort to address these differences, the DeKalb County Board of Health aimed to create an impactful campaign to help guide decision–making regarding preventing tobacco usage and encouraging cessation, as well as mobilizing community efforts toward a comprehensive smoke-free policy.

The strategies used prior to implementation included formative review of existing data, conducting an environmental scan, consultations with media outlets to review best practices, and meeting with grassroots advocacy organizations to determine which vehicles and messages were most successful. Once these measures were taken, research results were applied toward campaign development. The vehicles used included an internet site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, BlogSpot, texting, and mobile applications.

The implications for the social media campaign include impacting behavior change as it relates to increasing awareness of the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, rallying support toward the adoption of a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance, increasing knowledge of cessation resources, and lastly, changing social norms associated with smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Assess whether social media is impactful as a strategy for addressing health matters in DeKalb County, GA. Discuss which social media strategies are preferred by specific geotargeted populations.

Keywords: Health Communications, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have many years of professional experience and expertise as it relates to public relations/business communications, strategic marketing communications, community, civic and employee initiatives, media relations and buying, and social media development. This experience coupled with my formal education English and Speech Communications more serves as a basis for presenting on the subject matter. Lastly, I currently serve as the Media Specialist for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Intiatiative at the DeKalb County Board of Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.