The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Tips for how to get health promotion messages into LGBT blogs

By Scout
Director
Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
Reporting from Netroots Nation LGBT Pre-Conference, Minneapolis, MN
 

It's a packed room of bloggers and LGBT orgs at the Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf

We all have to build new skills

Remember just last year when many state dept of health folk were blocked from Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Well, perhaps because the feds have set a standard of using social media for their routine promotion work, we all now realize that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… all these are tools we will need to understand and use in order to ace health promotion work in this new era.

Well, despite the fact that you are reading this on a blog, don’t think we’re not as overwhelmed with all these new media as everyone else. We’re trying our hardest to learn how to use these new tools effectively. But boy it’s a lot.

Many of you know, lots of our LGBT print media has already gone out of business, some have switched to an all online format, some have just folded. This struggle is one of the reasons why the print media is really susceptible when folks like RJR Reynolds start pumping SNUS ads. Like happened in Minnesota, it’s often a real challenge to get the magazine or newspaper to refuse these ads in todays world. Face it, this is one of the main reasons why we have to struggle to raise awareness that we have health disparities like our crazy high smoking rate. It’s long past time for us to take some tips from major corporations and start being more savvy about how to get healthy messages integrated into LGBT media. But how do we do it with a fraction of their funding?

So, you know we’re at this Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf today… I’m listening avidly to all the many LGBT bloggers in the room. Let me share a bit of what I’ve learned about smart strategies for getting those healthy messages into LGBT online media.

First, what are the bigger LGBT blogs?

It’s a little hard to figure out exact readership, and some focus more on social versus serious messaging, but at least each of these LGBT blogs should be on our radar screens.

Tips for getting coverage in LGBT blogs

  1. Buy ads in them! Yes, the blogs are absolutely independent, but this is one way to start building a relationship which helps get your news noticed.
  2. Offer to write for a blog. One of the big ones, Bilerico.com is actively seeking new contributors now, go on, sign up, one way to get health covered is to write the posts ourselves.
  3. Repost their stories on Twitter/FB, comment on the stories online, just start engaging with them.
  4. Make a short list of the editors of each of those blogs and send them press releases whenever you think somethink is news. Don’t worry if it’s not national, local is ok too. Pics help too.
  5. Give bloggers scoops or first rights to breaking news, this is one fast way to build a relationship.
  6. Write op-eds about health issues and submit them to blogs (customize them for each submission). See some of the op-eds we put up on the IOM report to see a sample of style.
  7. Did I mention buy ads on them? This seems to be a seriously underutilized strategy. Yet some of the blogs above get 40k views/day… that’s a lot of eyeballs we’d like to have reading our health messages, right?

Many of these strategies will work just as well for your local LGBT media as well. And many of them can be real smart strategies for health departments or hospitals to use as a way to demonstrate that your services are LGBT-friendly.

OK, now off I go to try to put some of these strategies into action!

June 15, 2011 Posted by | Action Alerts, APHA, Blogs en español, Break Free Alliance, CPPW, Creating Change, Creating Change 2010, Creating Change 2011, Minnesota, National Coalition for LGBT Health, NatNet, Presentations, Puerto Rico, Resources, Scholarship Opportunity, social media, Steering Committee, Tobacco Policy, two_spirit_wellness, Uncategorized, USSF, USSF_mlp, webinar | , , , | Leave a comment

Health Advocacy Webinar Summary and Information

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

On January 31st, 2011, The Network held a BrownBag Webinar with Trevor Project’s Dave Reynolds, Hunter College’s Barbara Warren and CenterLink’s Terry Stone. This webinar discusses what Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is doing to enhance their states suicide prevention programs to be LGB and T inclusive, but your help is needed to support that work.  SAMHSA distributes the largest block of suicide prevention funds in the country and requires State Departments of Healths to apply for these funds. The change is that now SAMHSA adopted the new strategies and significantly enhanced the LGBT language in the scored section for several suicide prevention RFAs,  so states will need you to know what to say to get these awards!

 

The webinar went over the following items (links at end have more info):

  • Overview of this Advocacy Opportunity – Dr. Scout, Network for LGBT Health Equity
  • Linking with the Right State/Tribal Rep – Dr. Scout
  • LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies – Dr. Barbara Warren, Hunter College Ctr or LGBT Soc. Sci. & Public Policy & Dave Reynolds, Trevor Project
  • Real World Examples–Dave Reynolds
  • Comments from CenterLink & Equality Federation staff

Request for Funding (RFA) Overview:

  • Title: SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) RFA Cooperative Agreements for State-Sponsored Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention (Short Title: State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention)
  • Purpose: suicide prevention
  • Nickname: Garret Lee Smith awards
  • Due Feb. 16th, 2011
  • 32 states/tribes can apply to get awards for up to $480k/yr (no cost sharing between orgs required)
  • Length: up to 3 years
  • States/tribes can designate contractors to do the work for them.
  • LGBT inclusion plans are requested in two categories that total 55% of all the points you can earn on the proposal.
  • See full RFA at grants.gov, look up RFA # SM-11-001

Steps:

  • Find the SAMHSA rep for your state/tribe: see all reps in this listing.
  • Call them, see if they’re preparing a Garrett Lee Smith proposal.
  • If no, tough luck.
  • If yes, find out who’s in charge of preparing it. Contact them.

Tips

  • Be armed with some LGBT suicide facts to help make your case compelling
  • Present yourself as offering help to the preparer, you are their LGBT inclusion solution, right? So be bold and confident!
  • Don’t necessarily do this work for free. You are providing a service and should be compensated.

Resources from the call (Click links):

Slideshow of the webinar with pertinent information.

Health Advocacy Webinar Recording.

Contact information from those on calls (excludes phone numbers)

 

February 8, 2011 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized, webinar | , , | Leave a comment

Welcome from Minneapolis (Creating Change)

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

Due to another blizzard (just business as usual at this point), I safely flew a day earlier to Minneapolis, MN for Creating Change and arrived mid-day.

With my activities starting tomorrow I just wanted to write a “Welcome from Minneapolis” and introduce some of the exciting things I have the opportunity to be involved with this jam-packed, amazing week.

For this conference I have the honor of representing two fabulous organizations. I of course will be representing The Network, and you will be seeing updates from me throughout the week about workshops and other activities we are involved in.

I also have the distinction of serving as the Chair of NYAC’s Youth Kicks! Committee and will be attending Creating Change with the other committee members. Youth Kicks (or YK!) is a committee of 10 youth/young adults chosen through an application process, working together toward developing a social marketing campaign to lessen the effects of smoking in the LGBTQ Youth community. I am proud to be part of such a talented group of people from across the country who have the potential to make a real difference.

Many of the YK! members will be at Creating Change, and while we are still in beginning stages, this will be the first time many of us will meet. While here, we will be working on a photo campaign to start some awareness raising and connecting folks with us. Come find us at Creating Change (bios and pics are here) or take part wherever you are. We’ll soon have some social media sites starting up.

—–

Be sure to keep up on our blog. We have some fabulous blogging scholars who will be posting frequently on workshops and the conference in general that you’ll want to track. Visit our blog, watch our social media for updates or click our Creating Change 2011 link with all blog entries for this Conference.

Please join me in welcoming our special guest bloggers Dean Anderson, Megan Lee and former staff person Sasha Kaufmann!! You’ll hear from them soon.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, social media, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government Summary

On Monday, November 22nd, we held a BrownBag Webinar called “LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government.” The call focused on a discussion on federal opportunities for LGBT data to be considered for inclusion in national surveillance (surveys).

The crux of the conversation’s goal was to gather Lessons Learned from stories that callers shared on gathering LGBT data on the state level. In our highest attended BrownBag, participants shared their strategies for LGBT inclusion as well as barriers that have come up in that process. Scout introduced the call by requesting stories on state LGBT data implementation that can be used to help the federal government in whether/how they would include LGBT data questions on national surveys.

Among the reasons LGBT data has been left off national surveys, several myths circulate on why exclusion continues. For instance, surveyors fear higher refusal rates, break-off rates and confusion from respondents taking these surveys.

Current National Surveillance Efforts:

o       Despite failed efforts to include GLBT questions on the national Census, researchers are studying same-sex partner data gathered from the survey.

o       DHHS is including LGBT health measures on their major health survey (National Health Institute Survey : NHIS) but that is still within the works.

o       The National Adult Tobacco Survey includes multiple questions on LGBT as a singular question.

o       CDC sponsored survey on LGBT data in the United States in “Sexual behavior and selected health measures: Men and women 15–44 years of age

o       A group of researchers and advocates are working on a document for how gender identity questions can be added to national surveys (i.e. education, health.)

State Experiences

  • New York: City Health Department in NYC had a strong experience with adding sexual orientation and gender identity

o       Unexpected positive outcome: Mainstream scientists are excited about looking at LGBT data because they care about health disparities showing that LGBT data collection is not just a minority issue.

o       Positive Outcome: Multiple surveys point to LGBT data

  • California: California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) has included sexual orientation (not gender identity)

o       Barrier and Solution: When respondents are confused, the protocol is to reinforce the need for complete understanding of demographics/disparate populations and that no one is forced to answer the question.

  • Illinois – YRBS – does not include LGB, but Chicago does include a question asking folks “Which best describes you ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’, ‘lesbian’, ‘not sure”
  • New Mexico – NM has made a lot of progress in adding LGBT measure

o       Strides: “Sexual orientation” was added to both the Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) in 2003 and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFS) in 2005.  Since 2009, both surveys added a question including “transgender”.

o       Barriers and Solutions:

  • A few participants questioned why LGB was asked, but confusion why that was added was explained.
  • In early years, there was confusion from 65+ year old individuals about LGB questions, so NM limited how many seniors received that question as many responded with “I don’t know.”
  • Lack of youth data is a major gap that needs to be filled. Since 2005, advocates and researchers have been proposing that “sexual attraction” to be added to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) as no LGBT questions are currently asked on this major survey for youth.

o       Positive Outcome: NM APHA data paper from 2003-2009 showed refusal rates of sexual orientation question in BRFSS to only be .8- 1.8% which compares with refusal rates for other categories like 4.1-4.5% on household income.

  • Ohio – Led focus LGBT focus groups with reports on what was asked as well as transcripts for the groups. Another report is here.

o       Barrier: There weren’t enough respondents

Resources on LGBT data collection and best practices

Next Steps:

  • Please send emails or comment here with experiences of “Lessons Learned” at lgbttobacco@gmail.com.
  • We are looking for folks who have information on who has adult tobacco, YRBS, BRFFS, Quitlines
  • Another call continuing discussion will be announced.
  • A separate call on program data may be useful for folks who are looking for assistance on including LGBT data themselves.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, social media, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government

As tides change on the federal level, there is opportunity for our community to mobilize and discuss next steps to assist federal agencies to include LGBT communities in federal efforts. A major gap on the federal level is LGBT Surveillance, so the Network would like to host a BrownBag titled “LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government.”

The goal of this BrownBag discussion is to share stories, lessons learned, strategies and successes through a discussion of the pros and cons of incorporating LGBT data as well as how these questions have been implemented in the field from state LGBT surveillance efforts.

We would love to bring together state representatives, researchers, and community folks that have implemented LGBT surveillance, or have been working on incorporating efforts in their state.

Join us on Monday, November 22nd at 4pm (EST). Please let us know if you are able to attend by completing the Registration below. Call/log-in information will be sent out Monday morning.

BrownBag Registration

About the BrownBag Series: It’s about linking people and information: The BrownBag Networking call series is designed to be an open space for, you guessed it, the Network. So pull up a chair and enjoy a virtual lunch with us to network, share, and collaborate with collogues from around the country. For descriptions of past BrownBag Webinars, see our blog.

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, social media, webinar | , , , | 2 Comments

Be a Bragg Queen

Project Filter at the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare is expanding their Quitline services to be even more inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

They have already done great outreach efforts to the LGBTQ community, but in expanding their efforts they are launching new social media campaigns with the help of out gay comedian Matt Bragg. Project Filter and the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control will be following Matt Bragg’s quitting process to help him bragg about the process of quitting! We would like you to join Matt in bragging about quitting by bragging about your own quit story (if you once smoked and have since quit) OR by letting us know that you are planning to, or are in the process of quiting in a new campaign: “Be A Bragg Queen: Bragg About Quitting Tobacco.”

How to Get Involved:

or

  • Comment on this post or make a post of your own. Email us at lgbttobacco@gmail.com to get easy, simplified instructions on how you can share your experience with others.

or

  • Email us your story, with your name or anonymously, for us to share with other people could benefit from your experiences.

and

  • If in your quit process you’ve used a quitline, tell us about it here in a quick, anonymous survey. We’ll use that information to provide direct feedback to state Departments of Health Health to become more inclusive.

Reason for the campaign:

In response to recent data showing that social networks affect our health lifestyles for better or for worse, we’d like to start changing social norms by using social media to support each other in adopting healthier lifestyles by going smokefree.

To connect to Project Filter‘s resources, click here.

by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

October 12, 2010 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tobacco Industry’s Newest Target: Hipsters

In a recent Media Network Web-cast with the Office of Smoking Health, Stacey Anderson and her colleagues presented on their research: Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.

As an urban resident myself, hipsters are a trademark of my area. Ever impressed with their sense of style, I’ll see hipsters hanging out on their stoops or in front of dive bars/cultural venues with their bicycles, tight pants, plaid and retro/alternative clothing. However, just as ubiquitous as the edgy haircuts and tattoe are the cigarettes in their hands. Which is not far from the truth as 56% of hipsters smoke.

So why are these numbers so high? According to the presentation/article, hipsters seek outlets for freedom and self-expression. They admire the kitsch, absurd, eccentric, and Camel has positioned itself to deliver what hipsters are attracted to.

Why has Camel targeted hipsters? For one, since mainstream advertising options have been restricted, tobacco industries have become acquainted with targeting underground, “alternative lifestyles” (ex. the LGBT community).

What makes hipsters easier targets is their often nihilistic outlook on life that influences them to disregard traditional health warnings against smoking.

The tobacco industry is also aware that “underground” culture influences the market, and while hipsters typically intend to be anti-establishment, they often set mainstream trends.

To overcome the fact that hipsters reject mainstream messages, tobacco marketers admittedly aim to get hipsters to think that they started the trend of smoking.

Just as the tobacco industry has targeted sub-cultural groups by essentially manipulating and inverting their own values against themselves, we need to be less straightforward with our intervention strategy. For instance, perhaps we should expose the manipulation of the tobacco industry’s attempt to infuse a corporate, mainstream product into their culture. Another idea that the presenter brought up would be to use advertising campaigns that hipsters may find attractive, like internet based relatable UrbanFuel.org and XpoZLV.com. The latter of which also hosts smokefree alternative concerts.

For more information on this, an abstract and summary of the article is available at the following link. ‘Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.,  (Tobacco Control, June 2010), Yogi Hendlin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Los Angeles and Stacey Anderson, Ph.D., UC San Francisco.

Blog post by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

 

 

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August 27, 2010 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Practices for Internet Outreach

On July 28, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition held a Webinar called ‘Best Practices for Internet Outreach.’

The webinar was presented by guest Ra’Shawn Flournoy, Internet Outreach Coordinator of AID Upstate-Greenville South Carolina

The Objective of the call was to understand how to engage youth in internet outreach and understanding the best practices for conducting outreach and what tools exist.

Flournoy provided some examples of how his organization reaches out to black MSM, and offers suggestions of how organizations can apply these tools and practices for their networking.

Sites commonly used by the LGBT community such as: twitter, facebook, adam4adam, manhunt, myspace, google and craigslist are great ways to reach out for the following ways:

They are AFFORDABLE – Though some sites charge fees, others are completely free to use

They are EFFECTIVE – Within the past 3 years, his organization reached hundreds of black MSM through internet outreach. Of these, over sixty have come in for counseling and testing.

They allow for CAPACITY building – Internet Outreach includes people across the country through webinars, social media, etc.

In performing Internet Outreach, BE AWARE

  • Ensure you are qualified to serve community in the way that you are attempting to do
  • Maintain focus with clients
  • Be self-aware: Are you comfortable with social media or the population you are serving?
  • Need to understand cultural competency to reach them

Great Tips

  • Be honest about purpose about presence on site
  • Make it personalized (use name and picture)
  • Give incentives (prizes for participation)
  • To reaching out to more marginalized individuals, bring in members of those community to do outreach

If you missed the presentation, go to NYAC’s website for slides and recording of the webinar. If you attended the webinar, their website also contains additional resources on reaching out to the LGBT community through social media.

by Emilia Dunham

Network for LGBT Tobacco Control Staff

July 30, 2010 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized, webinar | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Fed Regulations Media Tools to Educate on “Mild” Tobacco

(From our Friends at the CDC)

CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working to educate consumers, public health partners, and the general public about new tobacco regulations that took effect July 22, 2010. These regulations prohibit the tobacco industry from distributing or introducing into the U.S. market any tobacco products for which the labeling or advertising contains the descriptors “light,” “low,” “mild,” or any similar descriptor, irrespective of the date of manufacture. However, consumers may continue to see some products with these descriptors for sale in stores after July 22 because retailers are permitted to sell off their inventory.

OSH has developed several Web-based and social media materials to get the word out about these latest FDA tobacco regulations. Following are suggestions communicated to states and partners on how they can further support this communication effort.

  • Post the new “Light/Low/Mild: No such thing” graphical button on your Web site. When clicked, this button will take visitors to newconsumer-focused information entitled “No More “Light,” “Low,” or “Mild” Cigarettes.” This information provides a summary of the July 22 regulations, the public health impact, and links to key resources, including a new, expanded feature article by the same title posted on CDC’s Web site.
  • Encourage others to send Health-e-Cards emphasizing the value of being tobacco-free. See the new animated Health-e-Card that reiterates there’s no such thing as a safe cigarette.
Put Out the Myth on Light, Low, Mild. Flash Player 9 or above is required.
  • Inform others of anew widget located on FDA’s Tobacco Products Web site. A widget is an application that enables users to embed content from another Web site onto their Web site. As content gets updated on the source site, it’s automatically updated on the user’s site. This particular widget enables readers to embed regulation information from FDA’s Tobacco Products Web site, health information from OSH’s Smoking & Tobacco Web site, and quit information from NCI’s smokefree.gov Web site.
  • Follow CDCTobaccoFree on Twitter and retweeting new messages related to the July 22 FDA tobacco regulations.
  • Become a fan of CDC’s Facebook page and posting new“Light/Low/Mild: No such thing” status updates on your Facebook profiles.
  • Tell others about our new posting on CDC’s Everyday Health Widget (coming soon).
  • View OSH’s new entry on CDC’s MySpace page.
  • Follow OSH on GovLoop. GovLoop is a social networking site for the government community. It currently serves about 30,000 members, including local, state, and federal government employees and contractors. Academics and students interested in government are also welcome to join.
  • Subscribe to CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use main feed to receive updates of new and recently changed content from CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site on your browser or desktop.
  • Continue to access CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site for helpful resources and the latest information.
Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010 Widget. Flash Player 9 is required.

We hope you find this information to be helpful as you plan your communication campaigns. If you have any questions, please contact Patti Seikus (PSeikus@cdc.gov) in OSH’s Health Communications Branch.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | social media, Tobacco Policy | , , , | Leave a comment

Sneak Peek: Roundtable Webinar on Social Media

Sasha at the 2009 LGBTQ Tobacco Control Summit, Hosted by the Network

As I prepare for my departure from the Network, I wanted to pass along my knowledge from launching and maintaining our campaigns on social media. Before I dive in I wanted to point out that LGBT individuals are more likely to use social media than the general population. With that being said, here is the preview for my social media webinar being held on Wednesday June 30th at 12pm EST! (Register here…)

1) Twitter: This was the network’s first bout with social media outside emails to our discussion listserv and newsletters. Twitter is a site that allows you to post quick updates of 140 characters or less (or what is also known as a “tweet”). Its a great promotion tool to disperse information to a wide array of individuals. You can also link to articles, parts of your website, or other messages from people who’s tweets you follow. There are different tools to magnify the productivity of twitter, such as hootsuite.com which allows you to post tweets immediately or schedule them for a future date.

spread your message on twitter, one 140 character tweet at a time

2) Facebook: Personally, I believe that Facebook is the most widely used and easily accessible social media tool out there. Last fall it was suggested it would be the 4th largest country in the world if it was a nation. A malleable medium, Facebook has multiple applications to magnify your page and encourage your friends to interact with you on your account. I have to say that looking back since our Facebook’s inception in October, about 75% of our members (guess-estimation) have not been active with the network prior to our facebook, so its a great way to incorporate individuals not usually familar with your organization. Some other hints:
  • You can link your twitter account to your facebook status. This has mixed pros and cons because while you can hit two different mediums with one update, if you use twitter talk in your facebook status it might not be as welcoming or targeted.
  • While the Network does have a friend page, having a fan page for your organization allows you to receive weekly updates from Facebook on page traffic including number of views and new members. With the new realm of social media changing and altering so frequently, its quite hard to evaluate these mediums overall so the more data you can collect to show oomph the better!

Wordpress is one of many blog services someone can ultilize

3) Blog: Sites such as blogger and wordpress are online publishing tools. The network uses their blog to highlight new resources and stories that surround LGBT tobacco control. My experience has been that Facebook has more online traffic than a blog. That doesn’t mean blogging should be ignored however! My suggestion? Post any blogs you have in your Facebook status. This allows you to get your information out there to audiences that might not usually be exposed to your information (e.g., twitter followers who might not read blogs regularly). You can shorten the web URLs by using sites such as tinyurl.com and bit.ly.


Supportive site runner-up
: Youtube
Youtube is great for uploading videos to put in your blog or facebook. As an individual medium it does not get as much traffic as the other sites, but it can add some flair to your other multimedia venues.
In conclusion, each of these social mediums have pros and cons in their use. I found this really cool rundown of the vast influence of social media on the masses.
Thanks for reading, and hope that you will join us (register here for call-in information) on June 30th at 12pm EST to learn more!
Sasha Kaufmann
Program Specialist
Network for LGBT Tobacco Control

June 21, 2010 Posted by | social media, webinar | 2 Comments

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