Thursday, August 27, 2009

CDC Prescribes Social Media

One would think, with all the regulation, legal and confidentiality issues in the medical field, public health entities would shun social media the way everyone else shuns ebola. The Center For Disease Control, however, has embraced the media and is using it like a stethoscope with blue tooth.

Their MDs, PHDs and MPHs have found social media to be a great way to get information out about health issues and train people all over the world. They have several programs currently running and are expanding their capabilities. As they say on their website:

Why use social marketing?

Social marketing can be thought of as a mindset used in planning and partnership development, or a structured and strategic planning process. It can be used to influence the behavior of individuals or the behavior of policymakers and influential persons for policy and environmental changes.

The structured planning process allows you to make well-informed decisions about what audiences to target, what are their specific needs, and how you can meet those needs. The development of programs or products to effectively change behavior can be accomplished by understanding your audience.

They not only use these methods but they prescribe it for other health organizations. The center’s website has several case studies for health organizations to learn from and apply.

Below, is also the start of a video about how the CDC is using social media for H1N1. Click for the full video. It’s the first emergency where social marketing is used as a health tool. It won’t be the last.

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