253683 Using Social Media to Reach Women with The Heart Truth®

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:30 AM

Ann Taubenheim, PhD , National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD
The power of social media to effect change is becoming recognized by social marketers and health educators as an important strategy, and campaigns are increasingly using social media strategies to expand the reach to their target audiences. In 2002, when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched The Heart Truth® – the first federally-sponsored national campaign aimed at increasing awareness among women about their risk of heart disease – many of today's social media hardly existed. At the outset, the campaign team developed and tested a women's heart disease brand – the Red Dress – and sought to promote it through a wide variety of means, including the Internet marketing approaches that were current at that time. The online approaches supported the three main campaign implementation strategies, that is, partnership development, media relations, and community action. As the campaign matured and new media approaches evolved, the campaign increasingly promoted its products, messages, and events through social media channels and Internet marketing techniques, including e-mail promotions, blogs targeted to women, Facebook, Twitter, public service banner advertisements, and outreach to online mainstream news sites. The social media effort began as a small pilot project in 2007, and was expanded in subsequent years based on lessons learned. This presentation will describe the approaches used by the campaign team and the results achieved, and discuss the advantages and limitations of social media in the context of the larger campaign.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the purpose and objectives of The Heart Truth® campaign. 2. Identify how social media strategies are being used to reach women with critical messages about heart disease. 3. Assess the effectiveness of using social media as a health communications tool for a national campaign to increase women’s awareness of heart disease.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in health education; I direct a national campaign for women about heart disease—The Heart Truth; I am the author of articles and book chapters on health communications; and I have used social and other Web-based media as a health communications channel for many years.
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.