Social Media / Immunization Campaign

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Project Overview
This two year project is designing social media and web-site communication strategies to engage users while conveying immunization health messages. The project has already produced a comprehensive study of communication channels utilized by targeted audiences seeking immunization information. At its conclusion, this study will provide scientifically based recommendations to the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease’s (NCIRD) social media and website teams. Additionally, it will implement social media, web and mobile Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

The Challenge
CDC considers it vital that healthcare providers and parents of infants and pre-teens have ready access to health information about immunizations. The agency is aware that immunization rates among this demographic can and should be higher. Although immunization information is abundant; the messages are not being comprehended by the target group — either because they are not believed or because they are not understood.

This dilemma outlines the primary challenge of the project — to provide complex information to a broad audience using new media and web-based tools. It was theorized by CDC that mothers and younger care professionals may be more in tune with social media outlets when messages are developed to accompany traditional information channels (specifically website information). This project provides recommendations to explore (and if proven effective, to use) social media and web channels to support public-health communications and marketing activities.

The Solution
The St. John Group has conducted usability studies and primary research to better understand the target audience’s use of web and social media outlets. In addition to conducting research and usability studies, we have provided and managed a comprehensive project management plan to guide, track, and report on all aspects of the project. Specific activities include detailed project planning, resource allocation, budget management, continuous stakeholder interaction, and government and executive reporting (including all federally required ARRA reporting).

As part of the first year engagement, TSJG delivered the following to the CDC NCIRD communication teams:

  • Analysis of CDC-conducted focus groups, call center transcripts and web log files
  • Recommendations and information architecture for CDC immunization web-site
  • Webpage wireframes using the CDC.gov website template style guide standards

As part of the second year engagement, TSJG will deliver the following types of products and services:

  • Wireframes for social media widgets, badges, eCards, podcasts and ‘bloginars’
  • Online marketing, placement, and outreach for social media marketing of health campaigns
  • Mobile campaign support including use of text messaging

The Results
This project is on-going. However, The St. John Group has already designed, conducted, and delivered the results of two usability studies in addition to primary and secondary research findings. The deliverables were well received and accepted by CDC. The final touches are being placed on the social media recommendations which will guide the remainder of the project. We will work with CDC web-site and social media teams to design and implement interactive communications and marketing strategies.

This project is on time and on budget.

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