Health and Human Services leading the way in Crisis Communication!

What are the deeper impacts of Social Media? Of course like most folks I see it for face value…the connectivity it invites and relationship structure from a personal and even business perspective. However, Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the Bethesda chapter of YAFCEA were Andrew Wilson from the DHHS Center for New Media spoke on how the CDC, FDA and DHHS collaborated and utilized social media tools for critical public health alerts, specifically for the Peanut Product Recall and the H1N1 outbreak and the lessons they learned. My grasp of this real-time culture tool expanded.

DHHS is taking the lead in crisis communications via social media means. In the true sense of what these tools provide. Andrew Wilson says: “Not only are we trying to get information out using these tools, but we’re also trying to establish relationships.” Example….it was reported that the CDC’s Twitter feed blew up to more than 40,000 followers searching for “Swine Flu” info and as of Thursday, their feed has more than 120,000 subscribers.

The public is no longer simply using social media to track down school mates, to update friends or trading photos, social media will impact lives were we “Live”. NPR had this interesting report.

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Allen Sheaprd

The Peanut recall was a great example.
The Long Beach Health department put out a funny YouTube “Swine Flu Fighting” Along with the laughs, they demonstrated coughing into the sleeve, social distancing and pushed the idea that staying home is good to do.
Mike Leavitt of HHS broke ground with webcasts on Pandemic planning and information. Twitter is another good way for people to tune into:
1) Good adivce,
2) Myth busting. Swine flu will not turn you into a pig, Kermit the frog is not a victum of swine flu from Miss PIggy – nor is she sick. (I can not make these up, I only report them)
3) Web references for WHO, HHS, RedCross, FluTrackes, Avian Flu Diary, http://www.newfluwiki2.com
4) Events about what is happening
5) (my fav) – Real life laymen and laywomen writing about what really works for them.

Allen Magtibay

Thanks for the post. I really wanted to attend the webinar but was unable to. I know YAFCEA normally posts the presentation online but its nice to read your take on the event as well as listen to the audio feed.