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7 Take-Aways from the Health Communications Marketing and Media Conference #hcmmconf

The National Conference on Health Communications, Marketing and Media in Atlanta is one of the largest and most informative gatherings to address issues of communication in the health field.  I provided live updates from the conference, but here are seven quick take-aways from this year’s conference (with an assist from my colleague, Diana Lejardi)

1)      Include your target audience (aka people you are serving) in the planning and decision making process. Seems logical enough, but many community members are left out of the conversation.

2)      Humanize your health message. This was a key theme in many of the workshops. This popular tweet explains it all:  “People don’t march into D.C. because of pie charts.”

3)      With new technology you just need a few tools to create an effective health video messageKerry Shearer said the “days of 10,000 dollar videos are gone.”

4)       “Health literacy vs. Low literacy,” no matter how you simplified your health message is, you need to make sure the proper communications channels are used to reach limited English proficient populations. Some people respond better to video messages than written messages.

5)      The internet is self-correcting; so don’t be afraid of negative comments. In a Facebook session with Ayla Tolosa, she shared that for every negative comment they received; five positive comments would appear in support. Try to only erase comments that violate your organization’s commenting policies.

6)      Know what inspires you. Your passion can be your purpose that leads you to innovation and implementation of new ideas (as eloquently presented by Andre Blackman, Alexandra Bornkessel, Punam Keller, Bill Smith, Doug Weinbrenner and Craig Lefebvre.)

7)      Use humor to deliver health messages. Tim Washer said humor can be used to evoke positive emotions, cut the noise, humanize the brand, and show authenticity. (This was a relief to hear, because we used this approach for a past health disparites event.)

What take-aways do you have from the conference?

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About Heang Tan

Heang Tan is the project director and editor for HealthJusticeCT. You can find her tweeting about health equity and other random things @heangtan

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