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Lessons Learned from the AIDS.gov New Media Coordinator

Mindy at USCA

Mindy Nichamin at the 2013 U.S. Conference on AIDS.

When I joined the AIDS.gov team in June 2010, there was no National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. We had a MySpace account. And there was no Instagram.

Things sure have changed a little in the past four years!

In my role as New Media Coordinator, I’ve composed, drafted, designed, strategized, measured, engaged, evaluated, written, and trained. I’ve tweeted and facebooked, checked in and pinned, uploaded, downloaded, and scheduled. Yet for all of these different platforms, there’s been one constant: I haven’t stopped learning. The team has asked me to share some advice with the HIV community about new media, so here are just three of many takeaways.

Forever adapting. This job has continued to shift as things like new federal policies, social media tools and even new Facebook features arise. Responding to change, with the help of a dedicated and talented team, has allowed us to keep up with changing policies, whether they come from Washington D.C. or Silicon Valley.

Storytelling will never get old: I’ve learned that it is one of our oldest ways to communicate, and it remains relevant. Each year for World AIDS Day, seeing the messages shared through the Facing AIDS photo initiative is one of my favorite activities because it puts the community in the spotlight. Storytelling has evolved with each new social media channel. The ease of sharing stories through social media connects more of us and brings us together in new ways, which is especially important for the HIV community and those who work to raise awareness and fight the stigma.

In-person connections are still essential. Some of my most valuable experiences, that remind me why I do this work, are when I meet colleagues face to face. It’s the resilience and inspiration from face-to-face interactions with the HIV community that I will take with me most during my next step pursuing a Master’s degree in public health.

To our blog readers, community partners, and the team at AIDS.gov, thank you. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.

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