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ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
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TIPH Sheffield Report – Talk Public Health

Publication date: 18.09.2020
Author: Talk Public Health

The Talk Public Health (TPH) Podcast is an initiative created by a team of ScHARR alumni from the Europubhealth+ programme stream. Notably, the show was conceived while all team members were Master students, and the pilot season was created prior to graduation. This student project was then able to obtain official support from ScHARR, which continues to champion TPH as another example of internet-based public health communication. Recently, the podcast has been incorporated as supplementary learning material in two ScHARR public health courses namely, “Key Issues in Global Health” and “Public Health Informatics.”

TPH is a podcast where we explore topics for persons looking to start a career in public health, make a change in their life or learn something new. Hosted by N. Charles Hamilton and Naomi Limaro Nathan, our dynamic team of young public health professionals offer fresh perspectives on topics including: neglected public health issues, global health affairs, and the latest updates in our field. We invite people to join the conversation beyond university public health courses and subscribe to our podcast - as we chart this journey in internet-based public health communication and education.

Objectives and Aim

The objectives and targeted audience of our main project, the Talk Public Health podcast are to:

  • Highlight and explore key public health/global health topics;
  • Generate discussions and apply critical thinking skills around trending and diverse discourses faced in the public health domain;
  • Enhance the visibility of various areas and disciplines of public health, especially those that are outside of the scope of foundation-level public health classes;
  • Encourage and explore the study and practice of public health (to build interest and encourage individuals to pursue a career in the public health workforce);
  • Add to the dialogue and knowledge base around public health workforce identity and professionalization.

In addition, we developed the Public Health Learning On Podcasts and Social media (PHLOPS) research project to run alongside this season of Talk Public Health. PHLOPS explores the role of social media in self-directed continuing professional development and education among public health professionals and students using a case study through the Talk Public Health podcast

Some of the key objectives of the PHLOPS study are to:

  • Understand key characteristics of the TPH podcast audience, in particular their educational attainment, career interests, language preferences, gender, age and other demographic factors;
  • Explore patterns of use, and reasons behind their engagement with the TPH podcast, for example, for self-directed CPD and AE, or for entertainment, or both;
  • Uncover other social media channels used for self-directed continuing professional development (CPD) and adult education (AE) in PH;
  • Identify potential effects of podcast-based self-directed CPD and AE in PH;
  • Determine barriers and facilitators to the use of social media-based e-learning in self-directed CPD and AE in PH.

Since Nov 16th, 2019, the Talk Public Health podcast has been accepted successfully by a broad range of [major] online podcast distribution websites, including: Apple PodcastsSpotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Google Podcasts, TuneIn Radio and Anchor.

Rebranding, website and social media

As part of the preparation for the current season of Talk Public Health, a reassessment of the online digital presence of the show was undertaken by the team, between mid-September to early November 2019. It was determined that it would be advantageous to undertake a full rebranding process. This was achieved with feedback from potential audience members (see Sept 23rd poll announcement). The new branding of the podcast was unveiled on 27th Nov 2019 - across a range of social media platforms (see handles below), namely:
Facebook/LinkedIn: Talk Public Health
Twitter: @TalkPubHealth
Instagram: @talkpublichealth_
Website: www.talkpublichealth.com

Activities

Episode

Number of Plays

Top Platform

Sneak Peek: Talk Public Health - Trailer (Season 1: "This Is Public Health")

167

YouTube

The Sands of Time are Running Out for Climate Action - Talk Public Health | Season 1 (Episode 1)

249

YouTube

Uncovered: Whistleblowing in Health - Talk Public Health | Season 1 (Episode 2)

113

Apple Podcasts

Talk Public Health - Behind The Scenes (#TPHBiTS) | Uncovered Whistleblowing in Health (S1E2)

14* (Subscriber Only Content)

YouTube only*

Special Feature - Interview w/ #SheffWHO2020 Team - Talk Public Health | Season 1 (Episode 2.5)

250* (Full Episode Uploaded to Facebook)

Facebook*, Apple Podcasts

PHLOPS research project

The initial activities for the PHLOPS project revolved around study design and documentation. In particular, a literature review was conducted, and a research proposal was drawn up, as well as the participation information sheet and consent form. Research ethics approval was formally obtained from the ScHARR Research Ethics Committee. The first of four waves of online surveys were drafted and piloted, and formally released with the first episode of the Talk Public Health podcast. Currently, it remains open and continues to collect participant responses.


Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement has been the cornerstone of the Talk Public Health podcast, given that our activities are 100% web-based and involves engaging with audiences across Europe and the globe.

As noted in the previous section, Talk Public Health has established a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Our primary/main social media channels with significant engagement has been Facebook and Twitter. The TPH team had to relaunch its Instagram page in February due to credential issues, so is regrowing it’s follow.

Follower growth since beginning of #TIPH campaign (Oct 7th, 2019 - date of signed contract between ASPHER and TPH Team) until date.

Social Media Channel

Total number of followers

Number (increase) of followers

Percentage (increase)  of followers

Facebook

316

202

187.9%

Twitter

189

145

395.2%

Instagram

105

105

N/A

LinkedIn

31

31

N/A

We are proud of this growth in our social media and podcast channels, despite this initiative being driven by a small team of three volunteers passionate about public health education and collaboration.

Highlights

We have been proud to have been able to feature in our inaugural episode, a high-level interview with the Minister of Health of The Bahamas. This was a particularly high-impact episode, getting us noticed and referred to by:

  • March for Science: a science advocacy group supported by the UN, high profile politicians and academics, which promotes evidence-based, science informed public policies (Facebook (809k followers) and Twitter (342k followers))
  • Climate and Health Alliance: a coalition of organisations and individuals from a broad cross section of the sector, including health care professionals, health care service providers, institutions, academics, researchers, and health care consumers. CAHA works to raise awareness about the health risks from climate change and the health benefits of climate action (Facebook (5k followers) and Twitter (5.5k follower)).
  • Lancet Countdown: A collaboration between the Lancet and Wellcome Trust – which brings together experts from across the global to track how climate change is affecting our health and how the world is responding to it (Twitter 6.2k follower).

We also see opportunities opening based on the diversity of our team and outputs to collaborate with university lecturers, Emerging Voices in Global Health, and multilateral agencies.

Collaborations

Social media and advertising collaborations:

  • Student organisation partners: SheffWHO 2020 - The World Health Organisation simulation event run by the students at the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield (a collaborative special feature episode of our podcast.
  • Guest blogging for: Eye on Global Health - student-led initiative & digital magazine, affiliated with the School of Global Health - University of Copenhagen.
  • Podcast partners: We have recently reached out to/have been approached by the following public health podcasts to plan collaboration episodes in the upcoming months:  
    - Stories in Public Health - Based out of Australia.
    - Untold Health - Based out of Denmark.
    - The Intervention - Based out of the UK.
  • Presentation at the “Global, European and National Response to COVID-19: This Is Public Health” webinar organised by the Core Group of the This Is Public Health Europe campaign. 

 Blog Posts

  • Trotting Through October: Announcement of our selection as the only student-led TIPH Europe project, update on coordination meetings to plan the upcoming season of TPH, teaser for rebrand and PHLOPS project proposal. 
  • New Look November: Highlighting our podcast rebranding reveal, teaser for the 1st episode, and introduction to the PHLOPS survey.
  • Double-Achievement December: Highlight the release of TPH episode 1 and the opening of the PHLOPS survey.
  • Reflective Journeys of January: Highlighting the release of TPH episode 2, the extension of PHLOPS, and teasers for episode 3 (and subscriber only content)
  • Fan focused February: Highlighting the release of TPH episode 2,5 and the collaboration with SheffWHO and Eye on Global Health blog.
  • Madness March: Updating on the workings of the TPH Team and episodes in the pipeline.
  • Absences of April: Updates on the latest involvements of the TPH Team.
  • Mixed up May: Updating on the workings of the TPH Team and current development. 

Upcoming Episodes

Over the past months, we have been working on two episodes that would be released in due time, they cover two relevant topics:

  • COVID-19
  • Digital Health

As a voluntary student/alumni-run project, we have encountered a number of foreseen and unforeseen challenges and opportunities in our journey so far, but we tried to keep the momentum, driving this initiative.

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