Social media can be a valuable tool that professionals can use to publicise their activities and reach a wider and more diverse audience. On 26th July 2014 I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop entitled Integrated Social Media as a Professional Engagement Tool for participants in the ASHM Leadership and Mentoring Program: A Collaboration for HIV Capacity Development. This workshop was affiliated with AIDS 2014: 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. The workshop participants are healthcare professionals from a number of countries who are engaged in outstanding grassroots programs related to HIV/STI, sexual health and family planning.
In this workshop, participants constructed an integrated social media strategy utilising common social media applications such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SoundCloud and YouTube. An integrated social media strategy allows professional practitioners to publicise their work, share resources and proactively grow their audience, without having to rely exclusively on traditional media outlets for publicity.
The process of building a social media strategy is guided by three key questions:
- What kind of information is to be shared?
- Who is the target audience?
- Which social media applications are appropriate for the information to be shared and the target audience?
I would like to extend my gratitude to the workshop participants for their enthusiastic contribution to the session and I look forward to ongoing collaboration with them in the development of their social media strategies.
Overview of the ASHM Leadership and Mentoring Program
ASHM has joined with other HIV Australian organisations working in the HIV sector to develop an ongoing program of leadership, networking and mentoring for HIV sector leaders from countries of Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean rim. Before and after AIDS 2014 these fellows will focus on maximising the impact of their leadership on the national and global HIV response. A two day program before will inspire fellows with appearances from local and internationally recognized leaders who all took their career out of the confines of their positions. The Australian Awards Fellowships are an initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in which Australian host organisations bring key individuals from priority regions to Australia to pursue study, research or learning opportunities which will advance their field of work. This year nine organisations are bringing 177 current and future leaders to attend their short courses, AIDS 2014 and the ASHM Leadership, Networking and Mentoring Program. The integrated program will be carefully evaluated and is being closely watched by funding bodies and potential host organisations. The ethical, carefully planned and well delivered program has clear objectives and evaluable outcomes. Participants in the ASHM Leadership and Mentoring Program come from countries including Bhutan, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Habib, B. “Social Media as an Engagement Tool for Community Groups“, Montmorency Community Group, 2 May 2013.
Habib, B. “Social Media 101 for Community Groups”, Friends of Willow Park, 17th October 2012.
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