Posted: March 14th, 2022
There are various instances whereby it would be prudent to utilize communication technology other than social media in the dissemination of public health info. These have been highlighted below:
When the target is not computer literate
It is important to note that the proper utilization of the various social media tools, and thus meaningful interactions in social media contexts, calls for a definite set of skills and capabilities (Jawad, Abass, Hariri, and Aki, 2015). These skills and capabilities could be simply referred to as technology/computer literacy skills. In some instances, some populations may not possess the said skills, i.e. those who are functionally illiterate. In such scenarios, the dissemination of public health campaigns using social media could be inappropriate. Telephone and radio ought to be taken into consideration in this case.
When brevity of content comes at an expense
In some instances, attempts to embrace a short narrative could come at an expense. It should be noted that the very nature of social media favors condensed content so as to promote a high visual impact (Thai, 2017). In some instances, excluding material of significance to the issue at hand could be unwise. Print could be a more appropriate alternative in this case.
When a significant portion of the target population does not routinely use social media
Public health campaign targeting teenagers could be effectively disseminated to the target audience via various social media platforms. Examples in this case include “MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, and BEVO” (Laurete Education, Inc., 2009). It would, however, be inappropriate/ineffective to disseminate a health campaign targeting senior citizens via social media. Television could be utilized in this endeavor.
` I foresee various challenges of using communication technology tools other than social media in the dissemination of my public health campaign relating to minority youth substance abuse solutions. One such challenge has got to do with the risk of locking out a significant population of the target population from the campaign. This is more so the case given that the age bracket that the public health campaign targets is largely active in various social media platforms. In an attempt to counter this challenge, I would seek other communication avenues that are popular with the target population. This would, for instance, involve seeking out television and radio programs whose audience is likely to primarily comprise of minority youths.
There are various communication technology tools that I could use in my public health campaign targeting minority youth. These are inclusive of television and public service announcements. To begin with, when it comes to television, it would be relatively easy to identify some of the programs that minority youth are likely to watch. A good example in this case would be during the running of Narcos TV crime drama. Given that the television series has a heavy drug theme, I would expect it to attract the viewership of those I would want to reach. In that regard, therefore, I would make arrangements for the dissemination of my health campaign agenda, i.e. minority youth substance abuse solutions, during the program’s viewing. Email is yet another unlikely communication technology tool that I would consider making use of. Although it appears rather old-fashioned, email could prove rather effective if the correct approaches are used in its utilization. Towards this end, I would be seeking the email addresses of minority youth from community-based formations, church organizations, as well as sporting groups and educational institutions. I would then send out well-structured emails containing the various concepts and ideals I intend to communicate on substance abuse solutions.
Jawad, M., Abass, J., Hariri, A. & Aki, E.A. (2015). Social Media Use for Public Health Campaigning in a Low Resource Setting: The Case of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking. Biomed Research International, 14(5), 87-91.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Types of social media. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Thai, C.L. (2017). Public Health Campaigns in the Digital Age: Targeting and Tailoring Using Digital and Social Media. Advertising and Society Quarterly, 18(3), 43-52.
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