Receptivity To Park Rx: a Social Media Campaign Case Study

Por: Anne O’nell, Diana Allen, Kendra Barat, Sara Newman e Suzanne Carmack.

Congresso Mundial de Lazer 2018

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Social media metrics offer valuable insight into the public response to health promotion efforts, because they offer a low cost and readily available means of tracking public perception to these efforts over time. In this case study, the authors will describe public response to a Park Rx social media campaign, as evidenced by Facebook and Twitter reports. Park Rx is a national movement in the United States to promote the concept of doctors prescribing visits to parks, gardens, and other natural areas, as a means of getting children and adults to engage in physical activity and other healthy behaviors while experiencing the biopsychosocial benefits of being in nature. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) approached the Institute at the Golden Gate (IGG) to convene a group of national leaders working in the fields of parks and health. This group of leaders evolved into a national Park Rx steering committee with IGG, the National Park Service (NPS), and NRPA as core members. By 2016, the Park Rx movement had grown to become part of the NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People Initiative with an established social media presence via Facebook and Twitter. Social media was used to promote the movement at all levels of the socio-ecological model (individuals, organizations, communities). This paper examines public engagement via the social media campaign from the launch in April 2016 through December 2017. Two co-authors of this paper are hosts of the Facebook and Twitter pages; page analytics are the source of data for the case study. Although the Park Rx social media campaign did not engage in paid advertising, initial findings indicate the campaign was well received on both Facebook and Twitter. From April 2016 through November 2017, the campaign reached a total of 97,062 individuals on Facebook and 1,091,337 individuals on Twitter. The campaign has seen steady growth in followers on both channels, with 649 Facebook and 1135 Twitter followers as of November 2017. The most mentions of #ParkRx occurred on and around National Park Rx Day on April 23, 2016 and April 24, 2107, which indicates that support for online social media health promotion may be improved by combining online promotion with live local, community, or national events. Social media metrics from Facebook and Twitter provide valuable insight into how receptive the general population is to the concept of park prescription and of the Park Rx national movement. Results from this study suggest that the Park Rx concept is favorably received from the general online population. Future studies could examine patient and provider reactions to determine whether there are differences in perception among subgroups to the Park Rx concept, explore whether paid advertising makes a significant difference in the success of the campaign, and how live events impact online public interest in and engagement with the Park Rx concept

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