Written by Joseph Munda
More than seventy health communication practitioners met at the country’s second Springboard event held at the Rainbow Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe, on June 25.
“If you are a communication person and you are not on social media, then you are probably in the wrong profession,” said Glen Dhliwayo, a social media consultant who presented at the event. Dhliwayo emphasized that using social media helps to reach a wider audience than traditional channels.
Dhliwayo highlighted the need for organizations to develop a clear social media strategy and follow it through to make social media effective for the cause. Several advantages for using social media were highlighted, including wider reach, real-time communication, feedback mechanisms, affordability and increasing organization/program visibility.
Co-facilitating the session was Tarirro Makanga, the Communications Manager at SAfAIDS, who encouraged all participants to sign up for Springboard to network, learn and share information, ideas and the latest updates/events from their respective organizations.
Makanga also congratulated fellow participants on Zimbabwe’s latest win to host the 2015 International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and mentioned that Springboard could provide a platform for further sharing of updates about the conference.
The learning forum attendees included communication practitioners from national and international organizations, health journalists, media houses and officials from the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe.
This is the second gathering of health communication practitioners in Harare, following the successful launch of Springboard in May 2014. This year’s forum saw an increase in attendance and members resolved to hold the forum every other month, with the next one slated for August 28.