Recent challenges in dengue prevention programs in the Philippines have provided an opportunity to demonstrate the power of partnerships in public debate about health. The online space can be a particularly noising place to have meaningful conversations – especially in times of crisis.
For Break Dengue, crises can be opportunities. We used our networking power and social media tools to analyse the dengue-related topics the public is searching for online. Taking the Philippines as a case study, we found that public discussion on dengue is unique: the search terms trending there are different to those dominating online debate globally. In some countries the public tends to search for facts about dengue, there has been a rise in negative search terms in the Philippines where queries about the vaccine have arisen.
In response, we can craft web content and social media messages that will resonate. Rather than simply telling people what we want them to know, we can begin by producing material that chimes with the topics close to their heart. This provides opportunities to bring clarity and credibility, by bringing the voices of experts to the fore.
The beauty of online media is that results are measurable. Our campaign reached 450,000 people and we observed a shift in negative sentiment during the first three weeks of our initiative. We also recorded almost 20,000 engagements sparked by our online activities.
The next step is to take what we learned from this case study and develop a preventive approach for other regions at risk of outbreaks of negative sentiment. Talk to us if you would like to try this approach in your region.