Behind this Blog

I was recently interviewed by Jana Zvibleman from the Research Office at Oregon State University.

The audio below is 10 minutes long talking about the outreach program and what we have and will be doing with new technology.

Learn more about Naomi Hirsch, the Environmental Health Sciences Center Community Outreach and Education Program, The Hydroville Curriculum Project, or Unsolved Mysteries of Human Health.


Using Social Media to Improve Outreach Efforts

OSU Marketing sent out an article called, “50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing” from the blog of Chris Brogan.  I have adapted it to what I think would be useful for environmental health community outreach.

35 Ways to Use Social Media to Improve Outreach Programs

  1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
  2. Build blogs and teach relationship building techniques.
  3. For every video project make sure there’s an embeddable web version for improved sharing.
  4. Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information.
  5. Create educational podcasts and podcasts that market the research and university/program.  Be sure to include an introduction and closing that share the web site address for more information.
  6. Build community platforms around real communities of shared interest.
  7. Help stakeholders participate in existing social networks, and build relationships on their turf.
  8. Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting.
  9. Learn which bloggers are providing information about environmental health to the public or other stakeholders. Learn how to measure their influence. Could they write a story about your program?
  10. Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events.
  11. Recommend that staff/colleagues start personal blogs on their personal interests, and learn first hand what it feels like, including managing comments, wanting promotion, etc.
  12. Map out an integrated project that incorporates a blog, use of social networks, and a face-to-face event to build relationships and market your program or .
  13. Start a community outreach and education group on Facebook.
  14. Attend a conference dealing with social media like New Media Expo, BlogWorld Expo, New Marketing Summit.
  15. Collect case studies of social media success. Tag them “socialmediacasestudy” in
  16. Interview current social media practitioners. Look for bridges between your methods and theirs.
  17. Explore distribution. Can you reach more potential partners, collaborators, and partcipants of your program on social networks?
  18. Don’t forget to market events on early social sites like Yahoogroups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
  19. Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.
  20. Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse. Free.
  21. Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.
  22. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
  23. Make your first stop for understanding the technical quality of a website.
  24. Make your next stop for understanding a site’s traffic. Then, mash it against competitors’ sites.
  25. Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. Tread gently into new territories. Don’t NOT go. Just go gently.
  26. Voting mechanisms like those used on show your stakeholders you care about which information is useful to them.
  27. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts and build a relationship with the blogger.
  28. Find a bunch of bloggers and podcasters whose work you admire, and ask them for opinions on your social media projects. See if you can give them a free sneak peek at something, or some other “you’re special” reward for their time and effort (if it’s material, ask them to disclose it).
  29. Experiment with different lengths and forms of video.
  30. Work with practitioners and media makers to see how they can use their skills to solve your problems. Don’t be afraid to set up pilot programs, instead of diving in head first.
  31. People power social media. Learn to believe in the value of people.
  32. Spread good ideas far. Reblog them. Bookmark them. Vote them up at social sites. Be a good citizen.
  33. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
  34. Re-examine who in the organization might benefit from your social media efforts. Help equip them to learn from your project.
  35. Use the same tools you’re trying out externally for internal uses and learn about how this technology empowers collaboration.

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