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Video Text Alternative: Inside the NICHD: Taking NIH Communications in New Directions

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Inside the NICHD:
Ms. Childress discusses new directions for NICHD communications

NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo
GRAPHIC SLIDE: Kerri Childress

Ms. Childress on camera.
Ms. Kerri Childress: Again, one of the surprises I think when I came here, and one of the opportunities that I really see that we have for communications, is moving communications much more strongly into the digital age.

We are finding ways to really expand our outreach in Facebook, so we are expanding our followers. I’m trying to reach out to the different divisions to say, “Give me your information. Let me put it out there. Share it with me.” I’m finding ways to share different kinds of information with the other Institutes. For example, we were asked a couple weeks ago if we would do a national Twitter chat on bullying with the National Institutes of Mental Health. I jumped on the opportunity. I said, “Absolutely. We would love to do that with you.” And Dr. Maholmes came and was the expert from NICHD, and then they had their own experts. It was a wonderful experience, a new experience for all of us. Very, very successful.

And in response for that, I said, “We would like to do a podcast next month on youth violence. Please bring one of your doctors over, and then we’ll share the podcast.” So there are wonderful ways that we can share with the Institute in this new digital age.
Ms. Childress on camera. Ms. Childress: The Twitter chat went fabulously. You know, it’s hard to kind of understand the numbers that you get back from them, because you’re talking like 2 million people were part of this chat, because they count the tweets that people retweet, and the people they have on there. So sometimes it’s a little difficult to really kind of get your hands around how many people participated, but we had over 300 people that participated in the chat itself with questions. There were a lot of professional organizations that came in and also were part of that chat—professional organizations that actually helped us push the chat out.

So, I guess one of the points I would make is, without real knowledge of how this impacted peoples’ behaviors, because we really don’t know—it goes much, much too fast—we do know a lot of people were led to very, very good information that they could use in their daily lives. How to talk to your children about bullying; as a teacher, what do you do when you know there is bullying; as a kid, what can I do to make somebody stop bullying me—all of these, we were able to lead people to specific places where they could get really good information. And guess what? It was free. It cost us nothing, nothing. And so, regardless of what the final number was of how many people were really involved in it, even if we reached one, even if one child went to a website and felt better about how to handle a situation, it was worth it to me.
Last Updated Date: 02/27/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 02/27/2014
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