Health promotion, social media consulting


How to survive the health promotion apocalypse

By Kristy Schirmer It feels like we are in the midst of the health promotion apocalypse.  Programs that were once supposed to be significant investments to prevention have been suddenly cut.  Have zombies eaten the brains of politicians and decision makers who fail to see the benefits of investing in prevention? In the past few weeks with the announcement of the Federal budget we have seen programs cut with just a few week’s notice.  We are seeing evaluation planning and baseline data collection effectively wasted if follow up evaluation is not completed and disseminated.  Perhaps most devastatingly we are seeing

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A new way of working in health promotion – one year in

By Kristy Schirmer Zockmelon celebrates our first birthday since launching in May 2013. Yay us! This means it is time for some celebration and reflection. The way health promotion is done and by whom is changing.  The mass disinvestment of health promotion across a number of Australian states now means that health promotion work is being done by different kinds of people and sectors.  Increasingly specialised health promotion positions can be found in local government, by private providers such as us and of course in Medicare Locals (for now). My health promotion mentors have always advised me to ‘follow my

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Guest blog: Ten Reasons to use Twitter by Tarun Weeramanthri

This article first appeared in ‘InTouch’, Newsletter of the Public Health Association of Australia, March 2014. Republished with Tarun’s permission. By Tarun Weeramanthri, Executive Director, Public Health and Clinical Services Division, WA Health Twitter: @tarunw Recently a colleague asked me why I put time into social media. My initial response was to mumble something along the lines of ‘the world’s changing, we have to go with it’. A little more thought and I realised that a year ago, I was using three social media tools – most often Yammer (internal micro-blogging just for departmental staff), followed by LinkedIn (professional networks), and Twitter (anyone). Now I

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Getting your event in the Twitterverse

By Kristy Schirmer Are you planning an event or conference?  Here’s all you need to know about how to have participants and presenters disseminating and networking using Twitter.  PS. This applies to any virtual events and webinars too, not just live events. Why? Tweeting at conferences helps to summarise and disseminate research and ‘take home’ lessons from sessions. It offers benefits for: People back in the office who are unable to attend to get a sense of the event and the issues discussed. For attendees/participants to consolidate their learning and ask questions. Not everyone likes a roving microphone. For

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5 reasons health promotion should never use stock images

By Kristy Schirmer I have been involved in numerous health promotion projects where we were developing a new brochure, poster and website attached to a new project or service of some kind.  Instead of getting new photos and images for our project, we had to save money (of course) and use stock images. *Shudders* The problem with this is that you can end up with multiple programs using the same images, which could present issues with brand/program recognition.  Imagine if a member of the community sees the same ‘mother and child’ image on a walk to school poster and a

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Change day 2014

At Zockmelon, we care about improving health and community services in particular by best practice use of technology. We recently learned about Change Day, a movement where individuals and organisations can make public statements of how they will change and improve health. In support of change day, we want to share our 3 pledges: We hope to inspire other individuals and organisations to get behind Change Day Australia.  Go to to make your pledge.

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Let’s talk about health promotion websites

By Kristy Schirmer First things first, yes websites are still important. Social media and apps have not taken over from websites.  Websites do not belong last century, they are still critical in 2014.  In fact, the truth is many apps probably didn’t need to be apps, they could be just as effective as mobile responsive websites. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, there are still things that make for good websites, and not so good websites. For health promotion sites that are for the general public (or your particular target audience), some of the following features are especially

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2014 Planning Tool for Health Promotion Practitioners

We love to plan here at Zockmelon, and are yet to meet someone who works in health promotion who doesn’t love a planning tool! We encourage you and your health promotion or public health team to do the same with our 2014 reflection and planning tool.  This is not a tool for your projects per se.  Rather it is a tool for you as the practitioner and your team.  This is designed to act as an adjunct to existing performance development plans your organisation may already have in place.  This plan addresses areas like coping with uncertainty (common with health

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6 Tips for First Year Health Sciences Students

By now Year 12 students across Australia have received their marks and many will be starting university this year. For some, they may have chosen a pathway into the Health Sciences.  For others, getting into a Health Science degree may be something they are doing while they figure out what vocation they ultimately want to do. For the health promotion profession, an annual cohort means there are new and often young minds who will be learning about social determinants of health, inequalities and the Ottawa Charter for the first time.  Students will be doing their first ever literature reviews and

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Health Promotion – We need to talk

Health promotion has oft reflected that it needs to get better at talking outwardly, promoting its relevance to society and the bottom line of the government. However, it dawned on me recently that we also need to think about how health promoters, AKA health promotion type folk, talk to each other.  By that I mean inward, professional conversations, discussions or debates. I was talking to a public relations consultant recently and she remarked that she had to have a social media presence in particular on Facebook because that’s where her primary group of clients (mums who run businesses) hang out.

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