Welcome, Mr. Secretary!

Remember the HHS Pandemic Flu blog? Today I learned two interesting pieces of news related to that daring Federal experiment in citizen engagement. First, that Admiral John Ogwunobi, the Assistant Secretary at the HHS who had incurred the wrath of flublogia for his perceived cluelessness when writing on the flu blog, has left his government post to go work at Wal-Mart. (No, he’s not a greeter.) I guess fending off hordes of enraged flubies got to him after a while.

The other bit of news is that none other than Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt, who got a taste of blogging as a headliner at the Pandemic Flu blog, has now started his own blog. He says up front that he’ll try out blogging for a month or so to see whether he is able to continue the time commitment long-term, as he intends to write the entries himself. He also plans to read comments — which will be moderated — as often as possible and try to reply when he can. It’s clear with his second post that he did read the first set of comments (many of which were by holdovers from the flu blog continuing the conversation), as he responded specifically to some of the questions posed by commenters. Kudos to you, Mr. Secretary, for recognizing the value of blogging for engaging the public and for not being scared off by the passionate response to the earlier flu blog.

I will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming CDC Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media about the role of blogging to engage your audience, using some of the lessons learned from the HHS flu blog experience. The fact that the Secretary came back to blog another day will be a nice postscript to the case study.

Thanks to Greg Dworkin for the tip and links.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Submit a Comment