I don’t tweet. I don’t Facebook. Frankly, I don’t even feel comfortable using those terms as verbs. Maybe I’m not even supposed to—is it more correct to say I don’t have a Facebook page? Still, when it comes to work, I 100% believe in — and have seen—the value that social media offers to amplify and drive the messages we develop on behalf of our clients’ causes and issues.
I recently had the privilege to help organize a panel discussion (that Alexandra Hughes previously wrote about) about the topic of how to best use social media in the public health context, which further underscored for me the importance of this channel in motivating the attitudinal and behavioral shifts we are seeking across a variety of health related issues. Collaborating on Ogilvy Washington and Georgetown’s recent white paper Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging (PDF), as well as the panel discussion, have motivated a more personal behavioral shift I hadn’t expected – namely a desire to become a more active user of social media.
After the panel discussion, I sheepishly had to admit to Susannah Fox, our online research guru and panelist representing Pew Research Center, that I had not seen her tweet about the session. I came clean that while I talk the talk for our clients, and even give presentations at conferences about the value of using social media for the purposes of engaging audiences in vital public health related topics, I personally have never joined a social network. In her brilliantly encouraging manner, Susannah simply said “ It’s never too late to start!”. And while she had me actually considering it, she tackled my other barrier—the okay, now how do I actually DO this twitter thing—by sending me an email link to a list of people to follow on twitter & why. For those of you out there who feel similarly vexed by how to actually pursue social media for your OWN benefit and education in this space, here’s that helpful link. See you online!