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Infoway Challenges Public Health Organizations to Go Viral

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Fraser Ratchford

This year Canada Health Infoway is challenging public health organizations to go viral. Our ImagineNationPublic Health Social Media Challenge is designed to inspire public health organizations in Canada to use social media initiatives in innovative ways to improve public health. Social media presents a great opportunity for public health organizations to reach Canadians — and to mobilize them.

A great example is the U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” campaign in which they encouraged people to learn how to prepare for real disasters by preparing for the zombie apocalypse. It began with a blog post centred around the theme, “If you’re prepared for a zombie apocalypse, you’re prepared for any emergency.” The CDC campaign has garnered billions of impressions and now features a video contest, website badges, T-shirts, posters, and graphic novels.

Another campaign that owes much of its success to social media is Movember — which raises money for and awareness about men’s health issues such as prostate cancer by encouraging men to grow a mustache in November. ‘Mo Bros’ share and track their progress through their Mo Space. The campaign began in 2003 with just 30 registered Mo’s, and, thanks in large part to social media, had over 1.1 million registered Mo’s for its 2012 campaign. To date the campaign has raised more than $447 million worldwide.

So now it’s your turn to be creative. We’re offering more than $70,000 in awards to public health organizations for innovative social media campaigns. Visit our site to learn more about the ImagineNation Public Health Social Media Challenge.

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.


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fratchford 240Fraser Ratchford is a Senior Director at Canada Health Infoway and works with Infoway’s partners to electronically connect citizens to their health information, to their care team, and to other virtual health services and tools. Prior to his role at Infoway, Fraser held a number of leadership positions in health care. His major focus over the past 30 years has been digital health, working in various sectors including government, hospital and public health.

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