Day 59. Keen for Sunscreen

In October 2012 on October 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

As I wandered around the internet yesterday, the ‘Keen for Sunscreen’ title grabbed my attention.

Maybe ’cause it looks like my last name ‘Keenihan’ (I’m just waiting for my kids to be nicknamed Keenas Mustard). Maybe ’cause it strikes a chord given I have a red-headed husband. Whatever the reason, I followed it up.

Keen for Sunscreen consists of a twitter account, a Facebook page and a blog site.  Posts include news, information and updates relating to skin health and skin cancer prevention. Sounds great! But why? Where does the information come from? Can I rely on it? Is it based on good science? And who on Earth is running this thing? No names or background information appeared on the sites (October 9 2012). While I understand that anonymity is highly valued, I do like to feel like I’m dealing with a real person in online conversations.

Being a nosy parker, I asked the twitter account holder if they could tell me a bit more:

Hi there! I love yr idea, but I’d love to know more about who is writing this & where does your info come from? Thanks 🙂

An answer, came quickly:

I’m a student at UNSW Australia – info comes from various sources, @SkinCancerOrg @MelanomaAus and many others. 🙂

Of course I couldn’t stop there. It was twinterview time.

(1) why did you set it up?

(2) how long will it run?

(3) target audience?

(4) how do you decide content?

(5) sponsored?

She or he was very friendly and willing to help. The answers were as follows:

(1) campaign for media class

(2) as long as I possibly can

(3) mostly teenagers/college students

(4) credible and interesting, content that will shock people into action

(5) nope 🙂

I’m assuming that the campaign will provide academic insights for the student as to how to use social media for public relations and disseminating information. And perhaps offer some personal satisfaction too, being based around an important public health issue.

I’m also assuming that the student would like some feedback, so here goes:

  • It’d be great if you could post some brief information about your project on the ‘about’ page of your blog and Facebook page, and on your twitter profile (people would be more likely to trust you that way, in my opinion);
  • If you’re posting health and scientific information, the strength of your argument would be improved by providing links as to where the original information came from (not everyone will care about this, but scientists and clinicians do need to know that information came from a reliable and valid source);
  • Use of hashtags #fact and #truth worries me a little – if you search in twitter, you’ll see that all sort of subjective and often weird tweets are posted using these. Try and come up with your own tags which are specific to your cause, or find and use ones that other reliable health and medical accounts regularly apply; and
  • Have fun with it! I find I’m much more likely to be active on social media every day if I have conversations on a regular basis and engage with others online.

Good luck Keen for Sunscreen, I’ll be looking out for you.

[photo thanks to bimurch on flickr]


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