249458 Lessons Learned at NIOSH: Using the Tools of Social Media to Build our Community of Practice

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Max Lum, NIOSH Consultant , Office of the Director, NIOSH-CDC, Washington, DC
Social media applications can contribute to increased dissemination and partner engagement. The key question-how and in what manner can social media be used effectively to increase audience engagement and better disseminate impactful and relevant health and safety information and what platforms have the most measureable benefits? This presentation will report on early developments at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) using qualitative comparison data, click- thru metrics, content analysis of direct messages and focus group information on the use of four social media platforms, Wikipedia, Twitter, MySpace and the NIOSH Science Blog to deliver and measure the impact of occupational safety and health information and expand engagement with both professional and general audiences. Each social media platform provides unique opportunities and depending on the specific venue have unique measurable impacts: increasing web traffic to deliverers of key health information; reaching customers not generally targeted for health information; expanding overall reach and dissemination; targeting hard to reach audiences; expanding secondary (long-tail information); and increasing opportunities for expanded networking with traditional stakeholders and partners. Initial data suggest early evidence of useful communication impact and the importance of the development of a social media policy as part of an overall health and safety communication strategy. It is important to introduce decision makers to the concept of a social media and to provide ROI metrics that make the case that new media platforms contribute not just to health and safety goals but can effectively build our community of practice

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify how social media impacts your communication and outreach strategy Explain why understanding specific audience themes is important Evaluate which social media venues strengthen your outreach and networking strategies Compare the social analytics tools that best assist in understanding the outcomes of your efforts

Keywords: Communication Effects, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Former Communication Director at NIOSH for 13 years and responsible for the activity described in this paper
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.