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TODD SMITH: CDC launches comprehensive Zika communications plan



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing hard to spread the word about Zika, the first new cause of birth defects identified by the CDC in 50 years and the first time ever that the cause has been spread by mosquitos.

CDC communications professionals are working side-by-side with scientists and emergency responders as the Zika hazard grows. And even though the agency still has to protect against all other hazards, anyone who can spare time from their normal duties is helping through the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center.

The center is running at its highest state of activity, Level 1, the level CDC assigns the most staff possible to work around the clock. It is the fourth Level 1, following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

There were 820 reported cases of Zika infection in the U.S. as of June 22.

To reach health professionals around the country, the CDC is hosting thousands of clinician calls where doctors and nurses can learn how to answer patient questions substantively and in an understandable manner.

It is sending messages through its Health Alert Network, or HAN, to its priority recipient list, which includes about 1,200 public information officers, health practitioners from the federal to local level, clinicians and public health laboratories. All HAN messages are also distributed through the CDC’s Clinician Outreach and

Communication Activity listserv of 36,500 subscribers and 155 partner organizations, posted on CDC.gov and Facebook, and distributed via GovDelivery to HAN professional and media partners and individual subscribers.

But the agency is emphasizing the media as well. That’s partly just another route to medical professionals. “We know physicians and clinicians are people too and they also consume the news, so that’s one way were trying to get out the correct information,” Ms. Lyon Daniel said.

It can also provide a more direct line to people concerned about the virus. The CDC’s communication team is reaching out to mommy bloggers with suggested talking points for their audiences.

On Facebook and Twitter, the CDC has been regularly posting relevant Zika-related infographics, videos and podcasts, focusing on vacation and travel themes as summer got underway. A post last week urged people to protect themselves if they are going to the Summer Olympics in Rio.

And the CDC website separates Zika information into sections for specific audiences, such as pregnant women or healthcare providers.

5 tools for measuring social media ROI

One of the most important things in a successful social media campaign – like all branding – is ROI. It’s paramount to know the money you have invested is paying off.

Here are five tools that from Social Media Examiner to help you more accurately and completely measure your results:

1. Kissmetrics – Kissmetrics is an analytics platform designed to optimize marketing success and ROI. It lets you track individuals, groups of similar individuals, and your users as a whole throughout their visit to your site.

People are tracked anonymously on their first visit all the way through multiple visits and conversions, and even after they’ve left and come back. It’s a great tool to evaluate customer behavior and ROI.

The stand-out feature of Kissmetrics is that it notes when users leave and come back, and what they do when they return.

You can track ROI coming from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any website, and attribute the conversion credit to the correct social media channel, allowing you to track your entire customer lifecycle more accurately.

This, in turn, provides valuable information about ROI, and lets you see which paid advertising sources are actually working and converting.

2. Customer Lifetime Value Calculator – while plenty of social media campaigns prioritize sales or on-platform engagement, social media is frequently used to connect with new audiences and generate new leads. If that’s your goal, it’s a good idea to calculate your approximate customer lifetime value (CLV).

You can use the Customer Lifetime Value Calculator to find out not only what a new lead is costing you, but also whether it’s worth it.

3. RJ Metrics’ Cloud BI – for a more in-depth analysis of CLV, try RJ Metrics’ CloudBI. The tool not only automatically calculates CLV, it will even break the CLV down to show the social media channel that sent you the customer in the first place.

RJ Metrics also offers amazing features like churn analysis that gives you insight into your customers’ behaviors, and analysis about marketing ROI as it pertains to customer acquisition cost.

You can even have reports sent to you on a regular basis.

4. Cyfe – is an all-in-one reporting tool that provides an insane amount of information about how your content is shared across social media and the impact it’s having on your overall ROI.

You can use widgets to create multiple customized dashboards where you can see the reporting on Facebook ads, Twitter engagement, Shopify orders and sales, or Google Analytics. The categories of widgets to choose from include advertising, blogging, email tracking, social media, and more.

Cyfe has some really interesting social tracking features, combined with detailed ROI and analytics reporting, like their Twitter Mentions widget. With this feature, you can track the number of Twitter mentions on a certain keyword or hashtag.

If you run a contest, for example, you can track your designated hashtag to see how far the reach extended and how many people participated.

5. Google Analytics – Google Analytics allows you to see where your traffic is coming from and how visitors interact with your site, including the visitors coming from social media.

You can track the response to different social campaigns and see which are more successful at moving users to and throughout your site, as well as tracking specific conversions.

Almost all major social media sites provide on-platform analytics that tell you how many users are clicking to your site or how many conversions your ads generate. However, you should still track social media activity, including ad campaigns, with Google Analytics.

To get a more complete and accurate view of social ROI, you can use the Social Analytics section to set up goals to measure the value of the social referrals that come to your site.

In addition, Google Analytics lets you track conversions by taking the whole buying cycle into consideration, so you can see which pages helped trigger conversions or which campaigns are working and why.

Google Analytics provides valuable insights into which social media channels (and ad platforms) send you the most (and most relevant) traffic. As an added bonus, it’s free and easy to set up on your site.

Golden Mic | Eli Wiesel was shining beacon of freedom, peace

Elie Wiesel, who made Holocaust education his mission in life after surviving the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps, and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was a shining beacon of freedom, equality and humanity.

One of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians  — and ongoing reminder of how man’s endurance and will to survive can defeat all – recently died, but will forever be remembered for his passionate voice for victims across the world.

He wrote more than 40 books, but his most influential by far was “Night,” a classic ranked with Anne Frank’s diary as standard reading about the evils of the Holocaust. Wiesel became a U.S. citizen in 1963

In 1978, President Carter appointed Wiesel to lead the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. The museum it proposed in Washington opened in April 1993 and has welcomed over 38 million visitors. It is one of the most haunting, moving and awe-inspiring museums in the world.

“The Jewish people and the world lost a larger than life individual,” Israeli president Shimon Peres said on Twitter following Wiesel’s death. Truer words perhaps have never been spoken.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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