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Communicating Public Health News & Services. Case analysis of digital health communication efforts in three mid-size Massachusetts cities: Cambridge, New Bedford, and Newton. Common Challenges:. Attract city residents as regular users Keep the news and information current

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communicating public health news services

CommunicatingPublic HealthNews& Services

Case analysis of digital health communication efforts in three mid-size Massachusetts cities:

Cambridge, New Bedford, and Newton

common challenges
Common Challenges:
  • Attract city residents as regular users
  • Keep the news and information current
  • Focus information on city-specific concerns and events to ensure relevancy
  • Over-reliance on print-style materials
  • Build an audience so it is more useful in emergencies
  • Invest time and money in communicating with the public
public health in new bedford
Public Health in New Bedford

Demographic information

  • Population: 95,183
  • English is primary language in <60% of households
  • Median household income: $36,172
  • Health & Human Services Department budget for FY 2014: $1.1 million*

*Budget for Health Department-only spending not available

city of new bedford
City of New Bedford

Mission: “The Public Health Division is responsible for promoting general good health practices in the City of New Bedford.”

Target audience: City residentsand business owners

Digital strategy:

  • Limited to a Web site for conveying information to citizens about public health threats, regulations, and licensing for certain small businesses
  • A platform for distribution of traditional print materials, such as flyers and FAQs
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Optimize page design for use on mobile devices
  • Establish a presence on Facebook
  • Emphasize seasonal health concerns on Facebook and Web site
  • Redesign main page so that it is more concise and relevant
  • Configure content for use by sub-groups, such as parents, teens, older residents, small businesses, etc.
  • Underscore New Bedford-specific initiatives and information
city of newton
City of Newton

Demographic Information

  • Population: 86,945
  • English is primary language in >70% of households
  • Median household income: $107,696
  • Health department budget FY 2014: $3.2 million*

*Budget for Public Health-only spending not available

public health in newton
Public Health in Newton

Mission:“The mission of the department is to protect, promote and sustain the health, harmony, and well-being of all Newton residents, in a culturally-sensitive, customer-friendly manner. Our focus is on prevention.”

Target audience: City residents and business owners

Digital strategy: Limited to a Web site with information on health concerns, schedules for free screenings/immunizations, and some newsworthy content.

recommendations1
Recommendations
  • Add Facebook presence
  • Expand content on Twitter to include information aimed at residents
  • Create a “newsier” top page for Public Health
  • Emphasize Newton-related health information, such as summer health maintenance clinics, and list as events on Facebook
  • Remove outdated information
  • Create single list of contacts
city of cambridge
City of Cambridge

Demographic information

  • Population: 106,038
  • English is primary language in <60% of households
  • Median household income: $64,865
  • Public Health Department budget for FY 2014: $6.5 million
public health in cambridge
Public Health in Cambridge

Mission: “The mission of the Cambridge Public Health Department is to improve the quality of life of residents and workers by reducing sickness and injury; encouraging healthy behaviors; and fostering safe and healthy environments in homes, schools, and workplaces.”

Target audience: City residents and business owners

Digital strategy: Web-based presence that highlights news, events, and Cambridge-specific programming

recommendations2
Recommendations
  • Link Twitter (Cambridge Health Alliance) to Web site
  • Create Facebook presence for Men’s Health League and other programs
  • More material adapted for use on the Web (Cambridge in Motion)
  • Highlight calendar on Web site and create Facebook events
other cities on facebook
Other Cities on Facebook

Tend to highlight a specific program or set of programs. For example:

  • “Healthy San Francisco”
  • “Eating Healthy NYC”
  • “NYC Condom”
  • “NYC Quits Smoking”
  • “Philly Flu”
o n twitter
On Twitter
  • nycHealthy
  • HealthyBoston
slide24

Thank you!

Questions?