“Normally Alabama comes in last when it comes to health indicators, but we were one of the first states to be on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. This is just another goal for us,” says Jennifer Pratt Sumner, the director of the digital media branch of the department.
The app, which is free to download from Google Play or iTunes, brings all of the social media feeds put out by the various public health divisions into one place. It also provides health news alerts and information about wellness events, such as the annual Alabama Youth Rally. Some recent tips included educational conferences open to the public, and tips on safely consuming shellfish in the state.
(MORE: Two-Faced Facebook: We Like It, but It Doesn’t Make Us Happy)
“As more and more Americans use their smartphones to gather health information, I think we’ll see a greater number of health departments rolling out their own apps,” says Alexandra Hughes, an account director at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, who wrote an analysis on social media effects entitlted “Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging” [PDF].
“Consumers are already flocking to apps to do things like count calories, prepare healthier...
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