**Update: As of September 2017 #valueCHCs 21 million impressions!
The #valueCHCs Social Media Campaign has taken on a life of its own, thanks to the dedicated and engaged participation from health centers and advocates around the country. The hashtag was launched by NACHC's Health Center Advocacy Network in early March to encourage advocates to share the value of community health centers with their legislators online. After being in use just over a month, the hashtag produced nearly 6 million impressions on Twitter.
So what does 6 million impressions mean? That means content that contained #valueCHCs was seen nearly 6 million times across social media, which is pretty remarkable. As part of the #valueCHCs campaign, the Health Center Advocacy Network Team compiled fifty of the most outstanding tweets for the first two weeks of this ongoing campaign. Tweets were selected based on three criteria:
- Focus on Advocacy
Influence is the ability of a particular twitter user to reach a significant number of people. A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry and reach across a broad network. Influencers have access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. Participants like former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle or journalist Carolyn McClanahan are examples of Social Media Influencers.
Creativity on social media involves thinking outside the box before posting something. It’s easy to simply post, “I #valueCHCs.” In fact, we want it to be easy for Advocates, but what if you take it a step further? Perhaps it’s sharing an advancement milestone as done by Los Angeles’s UMMA Clinic in a flashback Friday photo. They incorporated the #valueCHCs hashtag by sharing a Polaroid of their first clinic site from 1995. The caption says, “Reflecting w/#gratitude on Rita Walters & staff helping us find our 1st site in '95, exemplifying how communities support & #valueCHCs #FBF.”
Another way to be creative is to show the lighter side of working in community health. Primary Health Care in Iowa used a comical gif from the hit show Scrubs, to cheers the weekend and encourage patients and staff to move their bodies and stay active.
In terms of advocacy, all the participants on the list knocked it out of the park. A Michigan advocate, Lisa Rutledge tweeted a great candid of a young health center staffer as he wrote letter to his Member of Congress, which subsequently encouraged others to do the same. Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Mississippi tweeted an adorable image of a tiny advocate with a determined expression juxtaposed with the Health Center Advocacy Network badge. The tweet reminded other advocates and legislators that health centers provide essential primary healthcare to children. Kristin Chestnut tweeted a simple yet powerful thank you to House Representatives Bilirakis and Green for leading recent efforts in the U.S. House to support health center funding.
Social media continues to be a powerful tool for connecting advocates with elected officials. A study on the previous Congress showed that nearly 90% of Congress is on social media. Legislators are active on the same platforms as their constituents, meaning it’s easier and more important than ever for Health Center Advocates to reach beyond traditional advocacy channels to make their voices heard.
We sincerely appreciate the efforts of EVERYONE who participated. Remember, the #ValueCHCs campaign isn’t over, it has just begun! As we navigate uncertain waters in terms of healthcare policy, we must continue to raise our voices for health centers and the patients they serve in an immediate way.
Please continue to share why you #valueCHCs with us, your legislators and your communities. Inaugural Kick Off- 50 Best of #valueCHCs, full list below.