Social Media and Public Health
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Social Media and Public Health



Presentation on social media and pubic health.

Presentation on social media and pubic health.



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  • Social Media : new era - traditional gatekeeper role diminished : gone is the audience as passive vessel for information
  • In medicine, the gatekeeper has traditionally been the doctor’s office. Research from the Pew Internet & Life Project shows that 61 percent of adults seek health information on line . Active audience : conversation, participation
  • Q to prompt discussion – assess knowledge and experience – poll for registered users versus active users
  • Q to prompt discussion
  • Not New! Online health communities have existed since the dial-up modem was developed! Photo:
  • Hospital Social Media Accounts 540 hospitals – January 2010 227 YouTube 419 Twitter 326 Facebook 67 Blogs Source:
  • Scenario example here from With just six months until his 15th high school reunion, Ben realizes his varsity six-pack is looking more like a bench-warming Big Gulp. He Googles "weight loss apps" and downloads two to his phone--both free. One turns his iPhone into a pedometer and the other lets him set weight-loss goals and track his progress.Ben e-mails his doctor telling her that he's decided to lose some weight. He promises to do it sensibly. He then updates his Facebook status with a challenge to his friends to join him in his fitness quest. His sister sees his update and sends him a link to her favorite low-fat cooking blog.Meanwhile, Ben's doctor has replied with a reminder that his annual physical is scheduled for the next week with a link to an online Health Risk Assessment (HRA). After Ben completes the HRA, he is invited to create a personal health journal that will be reviewed weekly by a nurse practitioner. In addition, his insurance provider sends him a thank-you e-mail with a coupon for a complimentary one-hour session with a personal trainer that can be used at a nearby fitness center.  
  • Data sources:
  • WHY social media as a communications tool? Mobile : ubiquitous
  • Mobile ubiquitous : three generations
  • Mobile ubiquitous : The fourth generation
  • What is twitter?
  • Differentiate Twitter from traditional medai.
  • The “but why do people want to know what I had for breakfast” tweet/pushback.
  • Note: verified account – ratio of followers to following – listed number
  • TweetStats for CDCEmergency shows H1N1 spike
  • Tweet Stats for CDCEmergency : @ replies and RTs shows type of conversation
  • RT example : CDCEmergency
  • Promo Example. The bulk (85 percent) of Mayo Clinic tweets are promotional or links to health-related resources, Aase invites people to submit their questions as tweets using the Mayo Radio hashtag (#mayoradio), both before and during the radio show while it is live.
  • Crisis Communication Example: In August 2009, two employees of an ABC Disposal Inc.,a household trash transfer station, were rushed to intensive care and another 100 people were sent to Boston-area hospitals after a chemical release.
  • Promo example Children’s Mercy used Twitter in the operating room as a way to reach the geographically disbursed community that was vested in a young boy’s story
  • Promo example August 12, 2009, Children’s Mercy handed the hospital’s Twitter account over to Shari Flanagan to tweet before, during and after her daughter, Caity, had surgery for Crohn’s disease
  • @Reply Example Be sensitive to answers that shouldn’t be made public and the limits of Twitter’s 140 characters
  • Q to prompt discussion
  • Make a directory
  • My facebook profile page
  • Facebook news feed for novices. 
  • Blue Cross Kansas City

Social Media and Public Health Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Health Care In A “Social Media” World Summer Institute Course: Health Communication Northwest Center for Public Health Practice 12 August 2010 Kathy E. Gill @kegill @
  • 2.  
  • 3. 61%
  • 4. Goals For Today
    • Examine how social media technologies, specifically Twitter and Facebook, are affecting how health-related organizations communicate with their constituencies
    • Examine various types of communications goals that should incorporate these technologies
    • Understand the importance of mobile communication
    • Walk away with some best practices
  • 5. What Are Social Media?
  • 6. Technology that enables us to communicate with one other and share information publicly
  • 7.  
  • 8.  
  • 9. scenario
  • 10. 1. Mobile
    • 100M smartphones sold worldwide in 2009; 50% increase projected for 2010
    • About 1-in-6 American mobile phone owners had a smartphone 4 th quarter 2009; 1-in-4 of those had an iPhone; 1-in-2 had a Blackberry
    • Smartphones to overtake feature phones (sales) in 2011
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  • 15. 2. Social Media Networks
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
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  • 17. +
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  • 20. A New Genre
    • Private messages made public
    • Broadcast versus Converse
    • D versus @ versus RT and #hashtags
    • Follow versus Friend
    • Favorites and Lists
    • Nibble v Full Course
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  • 30. Broadcast Is Better Than Nothing (and essential in emergency). But Twitter Is Primarily A Place For Engagement
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  • 43. 3. Best Practices
    • Take ownership if there is a vacuum in your organization
    • Understand the social media landscape – play before planning if you want a persuasive business case
    • Customer experience should be priority one
    • Set goals!
      • Profile audience
      • Set objectives
      • Develop strategies
    • Test, evaluate, revise; then do it again!
  • 44. Take-Aways
    • Inexpensive, Immediate, Personal
    • Hard to measure, easy to mis-use
    • Mobile devices soon to be key gateway to our digital world
  • 45. Credits
    • Examples from forthcoming book, Brands L.E.A.P. Into Twitter , edited by Kathy E. Gill (@kegill). Hospital examples based on work by Anita Beninger (@anitamedia)
    • Locked gate :
        • Modem:
        • Network: -concept.php
        • Megaphone:
        • Woman with mobile phone:
        • Man with mobile phone:
        • Three generations with mobile phone:
  • 46. CC License
    • Share&share alike, attribution, non-commercial
    • Kathy E. Gill
      • or @kegill , @kegill_uw
      • and
    • Course Info: