7 Digital Media Resolutions (Minus the Buzz Words)

2012 has arrived and the internet has been inundated with social media marketing resolutions posts.*  After reading a handful, I feel like I’m suffering from a buzz word hangover.

I love my digital media colleagues, and sometimes we’re all guilty of throwing in one too many industry buzz words where just one would do. *Cough*Cough* influence, tribe, engagement, sentiment, optimization, monetization, synergy, innovative.

As a professional resolution for 2012 I have resolved to use fewer buzz words, and more plain language. With this in mind, as my first test, I’ve put together a few resolutions for those running digital public health and social marketing campaigns to consider this new year.

Continue reading

How H1N1 Changed My Life

When I was in my mid-20s, like most, I went through a career shift.  I had moved to the States with my husband and found a job at a company I liked, but didn’t feel purposeful.  I was 27 and knew it was time to go back to school.

I started taking classes at a local in-state university and settled on communication.  I liked it well enough, I had been doing it for years and I told myself that I could work for a non-profit when I graduated and somehow change the world that way.


At the same time the H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak began to garner attention on the news.  I paid little attention to it.  I had always gotten my flu shot, less out of a greater responsibility to prevent the spread of the flu, but because I didn’t want to get the flu myself.  At the time, I reasoned that I would get the H1N1 flu shot once it was opened up to those who weren’t in a priority group.  Until I could get the shot I reasoned that I wasn’t likely to get H1N1 and that it wouldn’t be severe if I got it.

Sound familiar, risk communicators?

Then I got it. Continue reading

Will a Ban on Body Contact Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury in the NHL?

“Turncoats” & “Pukes”:

The summer of 2011 saw tragedy for the NHL.  Three retired enforcers, Derek Boogaard (28),Wade Belak (35) and Rick Rypien (27),  met tragic ends.  The deaths this summer came soon after news that several other retired enforcers who had met similar ends had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) the result of repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Enforcers are players whose primary role is to fight with a player on another team with the goal of removing the player from the play through physical contact.

Two weeks ago Hockey Night in Canada juggernaut Don Cherry spoke out about the issue and attacked several retired enforcers who were now calling attention to the issue.

Below is a conversation I had with Launy Schwartz of Hockey54 on changing social norms for the NHL, preventing TBI and Don Cherry’s lagging relevance in the hockey realm.

The Conversation: Continue reading

Is It Ever OK to Lie to Your Audience?

Lying to, or misleading your audience in a health communication or social marketing campaign is just plain wrong.

Not lying to your public shouldn’t be a controversial opinion, but every once in a while I run into a public health professional that thinks lying or obfuscating the truth is justifiable so long as it leads to the desired action.

Exaggerating or fudging statistics may help you with adherence to your desired health behavior right now, but when your public finds out that you’ve lied to them, they are more likely to reject the behavior going forward.

My Dermatologist Lied to Me (and other betrayals): Continue reading