A group of communication experts gathered to discuss their experiences, best practices, and effective audience engagement during Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language session held last 16 March at the Philippine International Convention Center.
With the speakers of the session covering various fields of communication, 35 participants from the research utilization committees from regional health research and development consortia learned how to effectively communicate health research and improve audience engagement through tips and use of simpler language and laymanized terms.
Dr. Cecilia Acuin, Senior Scientist of the International Rice Research Institute and chair of the Research Utilization Committee of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) opened the session through her presentation titled Trust in Science: The Role of Communication. She emphasized the duty of health research communicators to develop and maintain trust with their audience by addressing misconceptions and supporting statements with facts.
James Mendoza, Chief Executive Officer of Maroon Studios, discussed website content management and highlighted the importance of security and design of websites to users. He also explained the need to understand and define the users to help shape user-friendly websites.
Two speakers tackled the topic on how to manage social media accounts effective, first was Ron Villagonzalo, a co-founder of the Philippine Bloggers network. Villagonzalo discussed the inner workings of the promotions system of Google and Facebook, and gave an explainer on the use analytics to properly develop material tailored to your topic and audience.
Rosario Juan, CEO of Commune, took the second part of the topic, going through the importance of creating a voice, brand, and style for social media pages and explaining how current pop culture trends could be harnessed to create engaging but meaningful posts.
Rounding of the roster of speakers for the session was University of the Philippines Los Banos, College of Development Communication Dean, Dr. Ma. Theresa Velasco, with her presentation on the Do’s and Don’ts in developing and implementing an effective communication plan. Dr. Velasco shed more light on creating communication concepts that will not only engage but also educate social media users. The establishing of the vision, mission, and goals for research utilization committees can set the working standards and policies for effectively communicating and disseminating health research.
With the aim to develop and strengthen the skills and abilities of the regional research utilization committees, Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language is a parallel session held during the 36th Anniversary of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development with the theme Research on Social Innovations in Health.
Written by Reuben Andrew R. Razal