Policy Resource

Ohio's MIECHV Team Increases Program Visibility via Social Media

Feb 9, 2016

The team developed internal policies to guide their use of social media and define the target audience. They have also started using a monthly message calendar and posting procedures to organize their communications on social media.

Ohio’s Home Visiting Team uses its Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding to support the program’s visibility with a bolstered social media presence. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) received support from the MIECHV Technical Assistance Coordinating Center (TACC) at ZERO TO THREE in order to identify best practices for using social media with home visiting professionals, referral sources, and potential program participants.

Due to the fast-changing landscape of social media, the Ohio MIECHV team has proceeded with caution in order to ensure that neither confidentiality nor the reputation of the program is compromised. The team developed a home visiting communications strategy that is aligned with and integrated into the ODH’s overall public affairs master communications plan. The team selected a communications coordinator and has worked to develop internal policies to guide their use of social media and define the target audience. They have also started using a monthly message calendar and posting procedures to organize their communications on Facebook.

Since creating the Ohio Help Me Grow Facebook page in 2013, it has received 1,691 likes. The page is being used to communicate with providers and stakeholders, as well as share tips and information with parents.

At the same time, the Ohio team made changes to its data system so that home visitors can note if families would like to receive appointment reminders via text message. Though they have not formally evaluated this change, anecdotally home visitors have reported a higher number of completed home visits for families who receive text reminders.

The Ohio team used the Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook to craft many of their policies and procedures for social media.

Updated February 2016.

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