Sunday, July 13, 2014

In Honor of The World Cup: My Favorite Public Health Themed "Things Tim Howard Could Save"

As the World Cup came to a close this afternoon, I had fun revisiting my favorite #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave. For those of you that missed this fun Twitter hashtag: Back on July 1st, the United States Men's National Soccer Team played Belgium in the World Cup. Although the US lost the match, its goal keeper Tim Howard was amazing with 16 saves. His performance inspired an outpouring of memes that speculated on things that Tim Howard could save around the world. 

Since I am fascinated by strategies for using popular culture to engage people in public health, I was happy to see my colleagues join in and use Tim Howard to draw attention to:

(1) Substance Abuse

(2) Global Vaccines & Immunization

(3) Infectious Diseases and Various Disasters 

This isn't the first time that I've written about public health agencies aligning with a trending topic in order to engage a new or broader audience. What do you think?
  • Is this an effective way to engage a larger audience?
  • How should public health agencies evaluate such efforts? What metrics are important?
  • Should agencies dedicate staff (on an ongoing basis) to monitoring such popular culture trends in order to develop timely social media content? Why or why not?
  • Please share other examples of Tim Howard/Public Health tweets that I may have missed!

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