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2014 Pre-Conference Workshops

Workshop I - Hands-On Social Media Strategy

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to design and implement a comprehensive social media strategy
  • Experience a variety of web tools and how to use them most effectively
  • Evaluate the results of social media activities

This workshop will go beyond the basics of social media to help you dive into creating a social media strategy for your organization or project. We will discuss the nuts and bolts of how to use social media to listen to your target audience, interact with them and effectively spread your messages online. From using sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others strategically, to learning the “rules of the road” for interacting on those sites, this workshop will give you the confidence to extend your social media presence. You will leave with a solid foundation for a social media strategy that includes elements like objectives, target audience, organizational policies, capacity, tools and tactics, and metrics. Wifi will be available and participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops so they can follow along online themselves. This is not a requirement, though.

Workshop prerequisites:

  • Participants have some experience of social media (have their own or an organizational account on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others) and have a basic understanding of the terms. They may have already implemented a social media project in their organization.
  • Participants have basic computer and web literacy skills.


Nedra Weinreich
President, Weinreich Communications and Project Manager, Entertainment Industries Council

Workshop II – Learning to Use the CDC Clear Communication Index

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the scientific basis for the Clear Communication Index
  • Explain the 4 questions and 20 items
  • Score sample public communication materials


In this workshop, participants will learn how to use the CDC Clear Communication Index (Index), a new research-based tool to plan and assess public communication materials. The 4 questions and 20 items in the Index are drawn from the scientific literature and represent the most important characteristics to enhance clarity and aid people’s understanding of information.  The Index provides a numerical score on a scale of 100 so that communicators can objectively assess and improve materials based on the best available science. The Index assesses materials in seven areas: main message and call to action; language; information design; state of the science; behavioral recommendations; numbers; and risk. Participants will learn how to score with the Index and practice scoring several CDC public communication materials.


Cynthia Baur, Ph.D.
Office of the Associate Director for Communication
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Christine Prue, Ph.D.
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Workshop III – Social Multimedia: The Secrets to Quickly Create Compelling Public Health Video and Audio Content for Social Media Sites Using Your Smartphone or Tablet

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to plan, create and produce engaging public health video and audio content for use on public health agency social media sites
  • Have a hands-on experience during the workshop creating content with multimedia production tools using your own device (smartphone or tablet)
  • Understand how to quickly and easily upload multimedia productions directly to popular video sharing sites (Facebook and YouTube) for immediate distribution

In a 3-hour pre-conference session, participants will learn  how to plan and produce high-quality, fast-turnaround videos on their smartphones and tablets for immediate upload to their public health agency social media sites. Attendees will receive an easy one (1) page video planner tool. Participants will learn how to shoot, edit and upload using a smartphone or tablet. During the workshop, attendees will team up to produce a video during the workshop! They'll use the specific plug-in lavaliere microphone made for smartphones that will give them great audio; the tripod mount that makes for steady shots; a small LED video light and more accessories that can be used to produce  a polished production.

Communicators will come away from this workshop experience knowing how to create their own fresh social multimedia content. They will have the confidence of knowing they can quickly create compelling messages, resulting in increased credibility and visibility for the health agency and its messages.

Workshop prerequisites:

  • Participants must possess a smartphone or tablet, and bring it with them fully charged to the class. Because my own class surveys show that, typically, about 70% of the smartphones and tablets used by communicators are Apple products (iPhone, iPad), and because of Apple’s superior video software, I will be using Apple products for demonstrations. However, the production concepts I teach will apply to Android smartphones/tablets as well.
  • It is recommended that class participants who possess Apple devices purchase and install iMovie ($4.99) for video editing prior to the workshop. I will also briefly cover audio recording to create ready-to-use sound bites, so participants may wish to purchase and install iRig Recorder (Pro) as well ($7.99)
  • Because video files can take up some storage space, it is recommended that participants check their device’s “Settings” to make sure the device is not close to being out of memory.


Kerry Shearer, AA

Kerry Shearer Communications

Workshop IV – Storytelling for Social Media: Creating Stories that Change Behavior

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how stories are different
  • Identify the various uses stories can play in a program
  • Construct  very short, but still compelling, public health stories
  • Use photographs to develop compelling written stories
  • Using unscripted authentic video to tell stories


This workshop is designed for health professionals interested in using stories to improve the quality of behavioral adoption. The workshop will include a review of three classes of stories used extensively in public health:  1) Fear stories which illustrate the consequences of high risk behavior; 2) empathy stories which improve understanding of individuals struggling with disease; and 3) success stories used to model how people solve prevention challenges.  Participants will practice the adaptation of traditional story formats to the emerging requirements of social media for short, concise and authentic messages.  Finally, participants will practice innovative interview techniques which help illicit effective stories from their target audiences.  Content from various public health fields, including immunization, HIV/AIDS, SIDS and others will be used to illustrate storytelling practices. Participants are asked to bring sample stories they are already using in their programs.


William Smith, EdD


Social Marketing Quarterly

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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  • Contact CDC-INFO
  • Page last reviewed: May 15, 2014
  • Page last updated: May 15, 2014
  • Content source: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Division of News and Electronic Media The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
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