The Richmond Register

Local News

April 5, 2013

Health department placing focus on marketing, internet presence

RICHMOND — A recent media survey conducted by the Madison County Health Department has revealed that clients' No. 1 choice for health information is not their doctors, the media or the internet.

Of the 273 respondents, 91 percent get their advice and health news from word-of-mouth, Director of Development and Communications Christie Green told the board of health at its Wednesday night meeting.

Thirty-seven percent of the clients surveyed get their information from the Internet, 16 percent from newspapers, 13 percent from Facebook and eight percent from the radio, she said.

Only four or five respondents said they get health information from their doctors, she said.

The survey was conducted as part of the health department’s work on developing a marketing plan. With the switch to same-day appointment scheduling for health department clinic services, more slots have opened up to see people.

“We know we need to get more people in our doors,” Community Health Nursing Supervisor Jean Powell told the board.

Green said a crucial part of the marketing plan will be to build the health department’s presence online. The agency has a Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ page and a Tumblr blog.

“A surprising number of older people are getting more connected,” Green said of their Internet use.

Ninety-one percent of respondents said they had access to the internet, with the majority (79 percent) surfing the web on a tablet or smart phone.

Of the people who use the internet, 84 percent use Facebook and 13 percent are on Twitter.

Green said the focus also will be on advertising, public service announcements and face-to-face outreach. About $2,000 has been allotted in the current fiscal year for marketing. A slogan has been created as well – “Your Health is Our Mission.”

Advertising will be posted inside local transit buses and even the “brown bags” that are used to distribute free condoms in the community will be printed with health department information, Green said.

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