Online Program

Considerations for implementing a social media presence for a public health training center or health organization

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mark Hart, Ed.D., College of Public Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Shalewa Noel-Thomas, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mary Peoples-Sheps, DrPH, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
As Facebook recently surpassed one billion users, many public health organizations are still weighing the potential benefits of usage, along with implementation challenges. Newer sites like Twitter, show great promise for sharing current public health information and connecting public health workers around the world, but come with less research and examples to observe. Organizations considering these social media platforms need to balance the potential marketing and collaborative opportunities for public health workers with privacy and technical concerns. In shaping the decision to manage a social media platform, organizations must consider the demand, resources required, intended functions, as well as which platform to invest their time and efforts. This presentation will highlight the culmination of a three-staged research project documenting a case focusing on the decision–making process of a public health training considering social media implementation. Stage one focuses on initial thoughts, knowledge, and concerns of the major stakeholders. Stage two considers the potential of a formal presentation, showing examples of social media uses in public health as well as an overview of positive and negative considerations for social media, as a change agent for these stakeholders. Stage three concludes with a survey of the original stakeholders, as they show how a formal training in social media helped shape their opinions heading into a decision. Ultimately, other public health organizations can go behind the scenes in witnessing the decision making process of this case organization, as well as learn more about the factors considered and debated.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate social media options for public health organizations. Analyze examples of usage for public health workers on social media sites. Compare potential benefits and challenges for a public health organization considering implementation.

Keyword(s): Social Marketing, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate in educational technology, and work full-time as an online course coordinator for the Rural South Public Health Training Center. My academic focus is on the affects of social media on formal academics, and my work experience is in facilitating online learning for public health professionals.
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.

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