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Quickly Noted: Jay Bernhardt and Social Media and H1N1

March 24, 2010

Last year, Dr. Bernhardt, Director of the National Center for Health Marketing at CDC, gave a presentation at the 2009 e-Patients Conference in Philadelphia. His twenty-minute presentation focused on the outreach conducted by the CDC in social media.

The presentation includes some great statistics of the success of their work and information on each of the outreach methods. The entire “tools” discussion is preceded by the “why” discussion. Unfortunately, so much of what comms folks talk about centers on the tools, when it should be focused on the why. Pay attention to that part.

You can find the video here:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsay permalink
    March 24, 2010 8:30 pm

    Too bad that the current CDC team decided to dismantle the CDC health marketing team responsible for these successes. Yup, they were told that their unit was to cease to function without a plan for where the staff would go. A few months later, they were asked for their resumes to see where they could be fit into the CDC. What a fail.

    • March 24, 2010 9:23 pm


      Thanks for your comment. I remember hearing about the closing of the NCHMC last year. Good friends of mine who are very involved in the annual conference (though not directly working at NCHMC) were noticeably upset. I know that at least this year, the conference will continue. In the future, and where many of the fine folks at NCHMC end up, I have no information.

      It leads to an interesting discussion, though. Is health marketing and communication something that deserves its own Center? Is it a specialized function that requires dedicated office space, funding and staff? Or is it a skill that could be shared throughout the other Centers, so that under-resourced or needy (both in funding and exposure) diseases and conditions might benefit from their expertise in house? I argue, in many places, for a de-silo-ization of public health. Yet at the same time, I’ve seen the pain that the unplanned for closing of NCHMC has wrought. I don’t know what the right answer is, but I know that this change is coming, right or wrong.

      I truly do appreciate your comment, and would love to talk with you more about NCHCM. If you’d like to talk — anonymously, of course — please feel free to email me.

      Anyone else have any thoughts about NCHMC, please do comment below.

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