Health Campaigns: APHA Day 2

Sitting on the floor in a crowded room of public health professionals, everyone gathered at American Public Health Association’s annual conference (day 2) to hear about social media and its application in promoting health. With people standing against walls and overflowing into the hallway, Miguel Gomez from started his presentation describing how and when people want to find their health information. As someone who works to increase awareness in Maternal and Child Health topics, it was interesting learning about how to broaden appeal to our audience. Thinking about your audience, objectives and strategy before the technology should be our primary process. Repurposing brand and campaigns for Twitter, Facebook, and blogging as well as for mobile versus desktop use should also be of concern.

Erin Edgerton, Director of New Media and Strategic Communication, extended the presentation by describing 10 tips to using social media, including knowing your audience, utilizing people’s time effectively, and having fun in posts. These tips were useful in thinking about creating health campaigns, especially for youth. This theme was also touched on in a meeting on the correlation between alcohol and tobacco use.

In my Bars, Booze, and Butts: the Interplay of Alcohol and Tobacco session today, Jeff Jordan from Rescue Social Change Group discussed his approach to stopping tobacco use in young adults. By targeting trendsetters in bar and social settings, he believes that we can change the “cool” culture around smoking in this population. Local artists work to create anti-smoking campaigns in order to promote bar interventions.

Although I attended other sessions, today was filled with learning how to apply and create specific campaigns to promote health and better the status of young people. I’ll be updating about the continued progress throughout week, so keep coming back for posts!