Evaluating Outcomes of New Media-Based Public Health Programs


By Dr. Renata Schiavo, CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College; Strategic Communication Resources; and New York University

“A 2009 survey of professionals from a variety of industries shows that while 86% of those polled have adopted social technologies, only 16% of them said they currently measured ROI (Return On Investment) for their social media programs (Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, September 8, 2009). These data are particularly significant within the public health and non-profit settings where measurement should be always emphasized in light of limited resources and conflicting priorities. In recent times, health organizations increasingly use or seek to use new media as part of larger public health communication interventions and/or organizational communication efforts intended for a variety of lay and professional audiences. Within this context, emerging evaluation trends and strategies point to the importance of assessing the impact of new/social media on changes in awareness, knowledge, and – most importantly – individual, community and/or social behaviors that would contribute to improving public health outcomes and to advancing health equity. As with other health communication areas, the importance of a rigorous evaluation process is increasingly emphasized by donors, program stakeholders, and leading organizations. Readers/participants in this virtual presentation would be able to: Discuss why it\’s important to measure (in addition to satisfying donor\’s requirements) Discuss current trends, evaluation types and models List evaluation tools used for new media-based interventions Discuss best practices and issues with data collection Understand best use and emerging trends in new media use Be aware of practical examples and resources”

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