Why Public Health Officials Should Make Better Use of The Internet and SEO

When it comes to disseminating information in regard to public health concerns, sometimes public health officials fall short of the mark. Press releases aren’t always the best way to get the news out that there is an E. coli outbreak, for example, because the average person doesn’t really read news journals where press releases are most often published.


Then there is the traditional news article that may or may not be found by the average user because, quite honestly, most people today get their news from social sites as information goes viral. Why not tap into that power when releasing important information to the public so that consumers aren’t made aware of problems days or weeks after the initial outbreak? If you’re in the process of pursuing a public health degree online from institutions such as the Zukerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, you might want to look at better ways to spread the word, not the contagion.

Who Are Our Public Health Officials?

In most cases, high ranking public officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (as the best known public health organization) have a minimum of a Master of Public Health degree while some are M.D.s and others PhDs. Within the public health sector there are professionals from all areas of medicine and social sciences because it is through understanding societal influences on the spread of diseases that they are able to hopefully contain them to extremely localized geographical regions.

But even there, risk of contagion and spread of bacterial pathogens is not the only concern of public health officials. Some officials are in research while others seek to encourage living conditions suitable to a higher level of fitness. Public health is a large and broad endeavor, so that the official who advances his or her career by studying for a master’s in public health online would be the ‘go to’ expert in the department they have specialized in.

Making Better Use of the Information Superhighway – The Internet

Yes, the term ‘Information Superhighway’ is an archaic reference to the Internet that was popular at the very beginning of the World Wide Web as we know it today. However, so too are the ways, often outdated, in which public health officials pass on information to consumers often. Many are mired in old school procedures and aren’t aware of how consumers now seek information they need. Here is also where it’s important for officials to understand how to reach the majority of people with techniques used by web masters and content creators day after day, year after year.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best concepts you can understand because these are the keywords and phrases concerned consumers will use when looking for information. Social media is also important, so learn to use it wisely. Why wait until some facebook user finds a news release, posts it on his or her site and then wait for it to be passed around by friends of friends of friends of friends? If you learn to use social media intelligently, you can bypass several levels of ‘sharing’ so that the word is out there and around the world in as short a time as a day or two. Understanding mobile search is also important which brings us back to the main point. By all means study for that master’s in public health, but go one step further and learn about the quickest and easiest way to disseminate information. As a public health official, that is your duty, and the Internet can help you do your job quickly and efficiently.