Honey, I'm Home: A Social Media Campaign for House Bill 331 Pertaining to Evidence-Based and Universal Home Visitation Programs in Texas

Date
2022
Authors
Molina, Jillian
Griner, Stacey
ORCID
0000-0002-2758-665X (Molina, Jillian)
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Abstract

Background Universal and evidence-based home visitation programs can help address preterm birth, maternal death, domestic violence, and sudden infant death syndrome in Texas. Programs utilize trained health professionals to promote health and wellness by visiting homes of families before, during, and after pregnancy. Programs that were implemented have been shown to reduce domestic violence, prevent maternal death, promote economic stability, and connect families to helpful community resources. House Bill 331 (HB 331) pertaining to universal home visitation programs in Texas can provide families with education, resources, and advocates to be healthy. Objective The goal of the social media strategy and campaign was to educate the public on how home visitation programs can assist families and engage voters in a call to action so HB 331 could gain support and be passed in the upcoming 2023 legislative session. Methods To promote HB 331, a social media strategy was developed using Twitter as the platform for dissemination. One tweet was serious by mentioning public health issues while the other tweets were light-hearted and informative. In every tweet, HB 331 was mentioned. Two of the hashtags were used as a call to action while the others were meant to evoke emotion. The "memes" were used to target young voters. Tweets will be launched in 2022, so people have time to reach out to their representatives for the 2023 legislative session. Results The social media posts were developed to inform young voters and gain support. The tweets communicate that home visitation programs promote healthy families, benefit everyone, and need the public's support to become reality in Texas. In the first tweet, a meme is used to ask the audience to change the author's mind about how helpful home visiting programs are. The content of the tweet then goes on to describe the benefits of the program and insinuate that their mind cannot be changed. The second tweet contains a photo of a home visitation occurring and contains information about what public health issues are being addressed by implementing these programs. This tweet is meant to be serious. Finally, the third tweet is a meme of the rapper Drake smiling at the notion of passing HB 331. In the content of the tweet, the need for home visiting programs is explained in addition to how they can lower healthcare costs. Conclusions This campaign calls people to action and may increase HB 331 awareness. Social media is an appropriate avenue because it is cost-effective and can reach many. Other ways to advocate for the bill include writing a letter to the editor for your local newspaper, a letter to your representative, and sharing the tweets above. Home visitation programs are vital to the health of families in Texas and this campaign ensures that the state prioritizes the health of women and children. Further research on health information dissemination via social media is needed to ensure voters are effectively being reached and influenced by future social media campaigns and improve maternal and child health.

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