With social media emerging as a dominant force in mass communications, how do you engage a public health dialogue with various constituencies using these new tools? How can you take existing public health organizations, non-profits, and public agencies, and empower them to use social media tools to reach their audiences? CALPACT, a project of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health reached out to FCP to help create such a program.
In 2011, FCP collaborated with UCB faculty and administration to design a 12-part new media training series. The idea was to empower public health communicators to engage in communications planning and use new media tools fearlessly. The sessions were custom-designed for various constituencies – ranging from C-level organizational leadership to in-the-field health educators. FCP taught half of the sessions and leveraged its vast network of experts as guest lecturers and case study examples.
Participants reported the following. “As a result of these trainings … I’m much less intimidated by social media and know how I can leverage it despite my organization’s slow moving approach.” Many of these trainings continue to be available online for UCB Public Health students and public health executives across the western states. The program was such a success that FCP was asked to create five additional trainings in 2012.