Friday, April 10, 2009

Giving the People What They Want: Social Media and Prevention

It must not be easy looking for a good hotel in the capitol of France...

Paris Hilton is not only consistently at the top of Internet celebrity searches, but right up there in media coverage.  Right now, a search on Google News returns 5001 articles. 

What's the relevance to prevention?  Well, right now a search on Google News for "child abuse prevention" returns 839 articles, and "child abuse prevention month" returns 502.

[4/16 update: Paris is slacking off a bit (4725) while "child abuse prevention" has 982 and "child abuse prevention month has 582. An increase to 12%...]

So the PH/CAP Month ratio on Google News is just about 10 to 1.

Use Google to search those terms on the Internet and roughly the same ratio results: Paris Hilton returns 57,900,000 and "child abuse prevention" returns about 573,000 ("shaken baby syndrome" is about 263,000, but only 11,500 of those sites also mention "child abuse prevention") .

Lesson learned?   It's obvious that we're much more interested in finding information that interests us, and both the media and the Internet ares much more interested in providing that information.   The prevention community needs to develop effective ways to "push" information to parents and caregivers, and part of the key to understanding how to push effectively is to understand what those people are trying to "pull."

Another interesting perspective is the extent to which SBS is becoming a marker for child abuse.

There were about 69,600 search results on the Internet for SBS and prevention, while there are roughly the same number (68,800) of results for SBS and "child abuse."  Only 32,000 results use all three terms together.  And only 13,600 use SBS and colic.

What's really interesting is that Google News found 312 stories that mention SBS, 181 stories that include SBS and prevention, but only 9 that include SBS and preventing.   

We'd have to read them to be sure, but that suggests to me that news stories are mentioning child abuse prevention infrastructure (such as child abuse prevention centers) but not mentioning prevention actions and programs, such as the hospital-based education program.

Put that together and it suggests that Paris Hilton could not only have an important role to play in getting information out directly to parents and caregivers about preventing shaking injuries, but in getting the media to attend to prevention...

Note:  Google Trends shows the Paris Index in graphic form, but also suggests that she may have peaked - Link

No comments: