MDIA professor publishes analysis on well being companies’ use of Instagram throughout COVID-19

Dr. Laeeq Khan, director of the Social Media Analytics Analysis Crew (SMART) Lab within the Scripps School of Communication and affiliate professor within the Faculty of Media Arts and Research, has co-authored a brand new research within the Worldwide Journal of Catastrophe Threat Discount.

The paper, “Public well being companies outreach via Instagram in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic: Disaster and Emergency Threat Communication perspective,” was written with Aqdas Malik and Annabel Quan-Haase, and will be accessed on-line.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everybody throughout the globe,” Khan mentioned. “Having a eager curiosity in how customers interact on-line with health-related messaging, I obtained concerned with exploring whether or not that messaging is efficient. Photos are one of the crucial participating methods of participating audiences and particularly throughout pandemic, the usage of Instagram by main well being companies holds nice significance particularly for youthful audiences who’re avid customers of the location.”

The research employed the Disaster and Emergency Threat Communication framework to look at how main well being companies use Instagram for speaking and interesting in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instagram posts by the World Well being Group (WHO), the USA Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the Worldwide Federation of Purple Cross and Purple Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Nationwide Well being Service (NHS), UK, had been evaluated based mostly on qualities like gender depiction, theme and engagement indices.

The research discovered that celeb, clarification, and infographics impressed “an awesome degree of engagement,” and concluded that Instagram is usually a highly effective software for well being organizations.

“Advertising messages via influencers on social media holds nice promise even for well being messaging,” Khan mentioned. “Excessive engagement ranges had been additionally seen when infographics had been posted, thus highlighting the significance of fine knowledge visualization.” 

Moreover, the researchers decided well being organizations can use social media to offer correct data, direct customers to credible sources, and function a fact-check for false data.

“When executed proper via correct involvement of influential figures, extra customers will be engaged particularly when such messaging is essential for the general well being,” Khan mentioned. “The COVID-19 pandemic has additional enhanced the function of social media in not solely offering credible and well timed messaging but additionally dispelling myths and countering misinformation.”

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