Online Program

Hashtags for Health: Leveraging partnerships to expand community engagement through local, collaborative Twitter chats

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Naomi King Englar, BA, Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Whitney Mitchell, New Orleans Health Department, New Orleans, LA
Enrico Cabredo, BA, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Keelia O'Malley, MPH, Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Background: The social media platform Twitter has been used primarily in public health for emergency preparedness, clinical and disease outbreak situations. Although little research exploring the use of Twitter Chats in health promotion with stakeholders surrounding healthy eating and active living exists, some evidence suggests it as a good tool to connect partners and engage participants for collective impact.

Methods: The Tulane Prevention Research Center (TPRC) is a member of the New Orleans Health Department’s Fit NOLA partnership, which brings partners together for obesity prevention citywide. In October 2014, TPRC and Fit NOLA staff began planning monthly Twitter chats, featuring a guest host for each month’s unique theme. The first #LiveFitNOLA chat will be March 2015. To develop plans and protocols, TPRC and Fit NOLA staff consulted guides, toolkits and conducted key informant interviews with experienced public health and fitness social media users.

Results: Lessons learned from planning and implementing #LiveFitNOLA chats will be presented and discussed including: scanning the social media environment for opportunities and gaps; preparing protocols; creating locally tailored, visually appealing promotions; training guest hosts in social media; offering incentives to attract and engage participants. Measurable results will also be presented: number of chats per month, participants per chat, responses per chat/question, and estimated reach per chat.

Conclusions: Planning and implementing local Twitter chats can be accomplished through cross-sector collaborations by leveraging existing resources. Through collective impact, networks of multiple entities have the potential to reach wider audiences on a local level more than individually sponsored chats.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify key steps and tools in planning a public health social media chat campaign Explain the function and benefits of using live social media chats for ongoing engagement with the general public, community thought leaders and potential collaborators.

Keyword(s): Communication, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I plan and implement marketing and communication activities for the Tulane Prevention Research Center, including all social media channels, specifically Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. I have also worked in journalism and utilized social media platforms to engage with and disseminate information to readers and the general public.
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.