263476 Effective use of social media in public health: Promoting a practice exchange in pandemic and all-hazards preparedness and response

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Natalie Vestin, MPH , Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Connie Jorstad , Infectious Disease Division, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Social media and creative marketing for health promotion are used widely among public health professionals trying to effect positive change in their communities. However, planners often lack ways to learn from each other about successful practices and tools developed in other jurisdictions. The Public Health Practices Web site, a compendium of tools and strategies to help health agencies prepare for and respond to disasters, was launched in 2007. In 2011, a collaborative effort between an academic center and a national advocacy organization led to the creation of a social marketing campaign targeted toward engaging state and local public health planners in sharing and using practices on the site. By using social networking, targeted communications on topics of current relevance, and online features that facilitated quick access to relevant tools, Public Health Practices transformed what was once a stand-alone resource into an interactive disaster preparedness community for state and local planners. By creating a forum for greater collaborative relationships between planners, Public Health Practices allows health agencies to assess and develop their own all-hazards tools based on work conducted in other jurisdictions, as well as contribute insights and ideas on emergency preparedness strategies. This presentation will describe the content of the Public Health Practices Web site, the approaches used in designing the site and promoting its use specifically to health officials, lessons learned in engaging public health professionals in social media arenas, and an evaluation of social marketing efforts.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe an online environment dedicated to sharing all-hazards preparedness and response practices. 2. Identify methods of promoting health-related resources to state and local health officials. 3. Evaluate approaches to engaging public health professionals in collaborative social media forums. 4. Discuss barriers and needs that arise with the use of new media in a government setting.

Keywords: Disasters, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as Program Coordinator on a national project to collect and provide outreach on public health preparedness practices.
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.