36483 Reduce (Costs) - Relate, Recycle and Reach out: How CDC/OSH Supports Grantee and Partner Earned and Social Media Efforts

Robin Scala, BS1, Robin Hobart, MPH, MPP2, Michelle Johns, MA, MPH1 and Cecile Douglas, none2, 1Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2ICF International, Rockville, MD

Background:  This presentation will provide a brief background on the CDC Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) Media Network, the CDC Media Campaign Resource Center (MCRC), and the development and evolution of the earned and social media opportunities announcement and resources.  We will provide examples of how Network Members have used the information and materials provided, and discuss how programs could adapt these models to their own circumstances.

Program background:  OSH maintains a Media Network which serves its grantees and national partner organizations.  The Network’s goals are to:

  • Provide Members with information on the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based health communications and counter-marketing campaigns, including emerging best practices.
  • Provide Members with timely media-related tools, information, and resources to increase and improve media coverage of tobacco-related issues in their markets.
  • Facilitate sharing of information, resources, and strategies within and between states, researchers, and national partner organizations.
 Three factors served as a catalyst to develop a new element for the Network’s monthly webinars:
  1. Many Network Members have limited budgets for media/communications efforts.   
  2. OSH has a wealth of materials and resources from publications and campaigns (e.g., Tips From Former Smokers campaign, Surgeon General’s Reports on Smoking), and our partners and grantees also produce materials and resources suitable for media/communications efforts. 
  3. CDC has increasingly promoted the goal of collaborative chronic disease prevention and control, and the need to eliminate health disparities.
In 2013, OSH instituted a standing announcement, with a corresponding resource handout, on the monthly Media Network webinars featuring upcoming earned and social media opportunities. This announcement highlights upcoming holidays, heritage months, and health observances, with suggestions for how to weave tobacco control messages into media and communications for each event.  In late 2013, OSH added a segment to the announcement to feature free ads and OSH-produced social media graphics available through the MCRC. 

Evaluation Methods and Results:  The announcement promotes OSH and partner social media activities, resources, campaigns and publications that can serve as an opportunity for earned and social media activity.  In November of 2014, 75 percent of Members indicated they used material from the monthly announcement to develop social media posts. In the 7 months following the new MCRC segment, orders for free ads from the MCRC increased 70 percent.

Conclusions:  The earned and social media opportunities announcement served as a vehicle through which OSH, and its grantees and partners, promoted chronic disease prevention and health promotion, and drew attention to health disparities.  The observances selected focused on chronic diseases and conditions caused or worsened by tobacco use, and served as opportunities to engage partners working on issues such as cancer, reproductive health, heart disease, mental health, and vision. Heritage months also provided opportunities to educate and assist specific population groups experiencing tobacco-related disparities.

Implications for research and/or practice:  A standing announcement, with a corresponding handout featuring upcoming earned and social media opportunities, is a model that could be adapted by federal and state programs to provide support to their grantees and stakeholders by using existing media networks, materials and resources.