The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) Southwest Resource Team is collaborating with BraveMatters, a Norman-based strategic communications firm, to host a series of webinars for state and tribal organizations on planning, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive social communications programs to prevent substance abuse.
“We’re hoping to deepen the capacity of the states and tribes to understand social communications and utilize social media tools, in concert with other initiatives, to listen to and interact with their target audiences online and help prevent substance abuse in their communities,” said Wanda West, Training Coordinator for SAMSHA’s CAPT Southwest Resource Team.
Participating organizations from nine states and five tribes served by the CAPT’s Southwest Resource Team were invited to attend the three-part series. The first session provided an introduction to social media concepts and technologies, including usage statistics and best-practices for using different social channels. The second session prepared practitioners to profile audiences and conduct audits of online conversations. During this session, participants were provided with planning templates designed to help them to develop a cohesive, strategic framework for their social media campaigns. The final session introduced various techniques for monitoring and measuring their social media channels.
“People are increasingly influenced by the opinions of others that they trust online. In a digital world, that’s something that can be easily monitored and measured, but also misused. It’s not difficult to join a conversation, but building a strategy to utilize many of these new digital technologies to influence change is challenging. It requires as much listening as it does talking,” Peter Wyro, BraveMatters President, said. “People are increasingly distrustful of anyone trying to sell them a product or even an idea. Our program is designed to help our clients understand, and incorporate the voice of their constituents in the message to build trust, deepen relationships, and improve results.”
The goals of substance abuse prevention programs are to reduce the incidence of substance abuse and related behavioral health problems in communities. Social media channels can be used to engage and educate communities and create awareness and public support for policies and programs that offer help.
Blake McCammon, Social Business Strategist at BraveMatters, said, “We developed a program that helps member organizations connect with advocates through social channels in their communities to broaden the conversation.”
SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies is a national substance abuse prevention training and technical assistant system dedicated to strengthening prevention systems and the nation’s behavioral health workforce. http://captus.samhsa.gov/
BraveMatters is an integrated marketing firm that helps provide clarity in a world faced with complicated alternatives. The firm provides branding, customer acquisition, public relations, and social business solutions. Centrally based in Norman, OK, BraveMatters serves clients throughout the U.S. www.bravematters.com