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“Engage and Deliver” But Don’t Forget to “Listen and Learn”

National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media.  Engage and Deliver 2008.

Last week, 1,000 people from the fields of public health, social marketing, health communication, health education, and other fields gathered in Atlanta for the CDC’s 2nd Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media. Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director, and Jennie Anderson, AIDS.gov Communications Director, attended the conference. We also participated in a panel called “Social Networks and Online Resources for Health Professionals” and shared the lessons we’ve learned from this blog.

The conference provided the AIDS.gov team with multiple perspectives on how public health leaders are using health communication and media tools (both old and “new”) to respond to public issues (including HIV/AIDS). The conference covered a wide range of topics, including the culture of poverty, peer-to-peer communications, media coverage, and evaluation and Web metrics.

Photo of Miguel Gomez and Jennie Anderson

Miguel Gomez, Director of AID.gov with Jennie Anderson, Director of Communications, AIDS.gov

We were pleased to hear about several HIV/AIDS-focused resources, including:

Presenters also shared many resources which can help us better understand new media tools. Several of these resources included:

We enjoyed meeting (and in some cases reconnecting) with many of our CDC colleagues, along with many others, including Ben Heywood Exit Disclaimer from PatientsLikeMe, Dr. Vish Viswanath Exit Disclaimer from the Harvard School of Public Health Exit Disclaimer, Nedra Weinreich from Weinreich Communications Exit Disclaimer and author of Spare Change Exit Disclaimer, Michael Ruppal from The AIDS Institute Exit Disclaimer, and many others. Many of our relationships in new media are virtual, so it’s always nice to put a face with a name—and replace the ubiquitous :) with a real smile!

Photo of Sandra Thurman

Sandra Thurman delivering the closing plenary session

During the closing plenary, Sandra Thurman, President and CEO of International AIDS Trust Exit Disclaimer, talked about the importance of adding “Listen” and “Learn” into the conference’s theme (“Engage and Deliver”). She referenced the recent release of the new CDC HIV incidence data and noted that we could have addressed this earlier if we had listened to and learned from some of the communities hardest hit by the epidemic—men who have sex with men and African Americans. Sandra also stressed the importance of working across disciplines, forming private and public partnership, spending time in the communities we are trying to reach, and most importantly, “keeping a passion for doing what we do.”

Speaking of passion – we’ve received lots of comments on our post about the new HIV incidence data being a “wake-up” call. To all our commentors, thank you! We’re thrilled to have this dialogue – and look forward to hearing more from you in the days and weeks to come.

We also want to thank our CDC colleagues for hosting an informative conference! Check out the CDC’s new Facebook Group “Health Communication, Marketing, and Media Exit Disclaimer” and The Healthiest Nation Alliance Exit Disclaimer.

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Comments

  1. I think it is extremely important that we continue to work toward educating all Americans (and people around the world) about safe sex and HIV prevention.
    One Condoms has started the Presidential Condom Challenge Campaign in order to help our next president address the overwhelming increase of HIV infections per year in America.
    The number of HIV infections in America alone has reached over 56,300 per year! In response, One Condoms has delivered 56,300 condoms (one for every person who will be infected with HIV this year) to the campaign headquarters of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. Their message is simple – demonstrate your support for comprehensive health education for all Americans, including the use of condoms.
    To check this out further or join the team to help our future president promote safer sex education, visit http://onecondoms.com/challenge/index.htm
    Thanks, Carley

  2. I think it is extremely important that we continue to work toward educating all Americans (and people around the world) about safe sex and HIV prevention.
    One Condoms has started the Presidential Condom Challenge Campaign in order to help our next president address the overwhelming increase of HIV infections per year in America
    To check this out further or join the team to help our future president promote safer sex education, visit http://onecondoms.com/challenge/index.htm

  3. Great blog with a great message! I think blogs are a good way to spread awareness. Everyone in its own way. Osocio is a great website I agree when you want to see social campaigns, so everyone interested in that should be a great visit.
    I’m sorry to say that the ONE condoms campaign wasn’t that successful after all, the candidates apparently just didn’t have the time to send the condoms out: http://condomunity.com/entertainment/palin-obama-mccain-condoms/

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