Sunday, July 24, 2011


I am not a publicist nor a public relations professional. I do promote messages mostly through educational channels to connect people with issues and elections and then motivate them into action.
I use PR skills and, for my own development and pleasure, I enjoy reading my friend Susan Hart's blog EveryDay PR who has a great business background, website & presence. It was a headline post there that led me to read about the changing nature of PR in the digital age.

I train, coach & activate advocates in community health centers across the Southeast. The second week in August is National Health Center Week when hundreds of CHCs (community health centers) or FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers) will highlight their work with promotional activity. In many areas, free health screenings send children back-to-school healthy. Parents come along and receive preventative care to avoid problems with high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity in many cases. I like this annual event at Wewahitchka Medical Center in North Florida.

Elected officials from Congress, state & local governments tour the sites to see how grant funding they approve is used. Community health centers give the nation a huge bang for its buck. Visits are educational, productive and may attract media coverage.  That's why I am posting next Promoting Health Center Week in the Digital Age.

Many health centers are active in social media. Some are using Facebook for patient outreach. Others use them to boost community and employee relations.  Most will generate publicity for Health Center Week. Like most non-profits, some of it will be volunteer coordinated, though most will be directed by staff, in-house. I try to offer as many resources as possible to the people I know in community health centers to help them succeed in message delivery.  As they adopt more use of social media, they need to also start thinking of press releases more as "content" and use them to promote their events beyond traditional press "influencers" or legislative schedulers.

If health centers want to spread the word about their good work & awareness week, there are many news outlets they can use or develop now. Effective advocacy requires effective media strategies.  If this is the first time you've heard National Health Center Week, I've made my case.  If you're working to promote the cause, please read on.

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