The results of the IH Communications Surveys are in! The section’s Communications Committee asked you, the section members, to complete a Survey Monkey questionnaire and provide their thoughts on how the section communicates with you. The survey was divided into two parts. Forty-six people responded to the first part, which covered the section’s traditional
communications platforms (the newsletter, the monthly e-mail and the website);
28 responded to the second part, which focused on the section’s use of new social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and the IH Blog).
Generally speaking, the respondents read the newsletter (69.6%) and e-mails (80.4%), and they check the website at least occasionally (73.9%). There were a handful of respondents that did not know that we published these communications, so the section has some work to do to make sure that its members know that these are available.
Unfortunately, use of social media was not as popular as we had hoped. Of the 28 respondents to this part of the survey, nearly half (42.9%) rarely or never read the blog, and 25% did not know we even had one. Similarly, very few respondents subscribed to the Facebook page (10.7%) or the LinkedIn group(14.3%). However, our blog averages 30-40 hits per day (currently around 1,000 visits per month), our Facebook page has 60 subscribers, and our LinkedIn group has 439 members. Considering these numbers, it seems that there are a lot of non-members plugging into our social media, which is not necessarily a bad thing – but our members should be encouraged to take advantage of them as well!
Considering that our social media platforms are very popular among the online global health community, these should be advertised to the section in general at the Annual Meeting, particularly during the first business meeting when attendance is highest.
We also need to encourage members to contribute to the blog and newsletter. Several survey respondents mentioned that they would like to read about other members’ programs and want an emphasis on practice, rather than research.
Obviously, people have to WRITE about their programs so that we can read
about them. This should start with the section leadership, who should be setting the example for the rest of the section. Another resource could be asking students to write about their practica or recent graduates to summarize
their fellowships. This is easy enough to do in interview format for the blog (see
https://aphaih.wordpress.com/category/stories-from-the-field/), but those students need to be referred to the blog manager to be interviewed.