Promote your programs by creating your own personal media. That’s the advice of Joanne Kinsey, Family and Community Health Sciences Educator in Atlantic and Ocean Counties and Assistant Professor for Rutgers University.
“There are all these different tools. Find something you like and think is effective and spend your time there.” Kinsey says. “Online video works best for me.”
On February 21 Kinsey spoke at the USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum about Technology Trends for 21st Century Nutrition. Her presentation was based on work with Alice Henneman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. They are members of the eXtension Families, Food and Fitness Community of Practice and the technology subcommittee for that Community of Practice.
Kinsey has loaded identical videos on YouTube and on Vimeo. The launch date was September 1, 2011 for both channels. The current stats are: 37,419 views; 118 countries for Vimeo, http://vimeo.com/user8347130/videos 8,704 views; 109 countries for YouTube, http://youtube.com/user/FCHSdepartmentRCE
Kinsey has three audiences for her educational materials: workplace wellness program coordinators, consumers, and school teachers. “The videos are easy and accessible methods to start discussions in workplaces and schools. They are a free resource.” She suspects YouTube may be blocked in some workplaces and schools but Vimeo can be accessed.
Kinsey quickly admits she is not an expert but by trial and error has learned how to produce videos that get attention. “I’m totally an amateur. I have a simple digital camera and my cell phone.” Kinsey uses iMovie and has signed up for One to One training at her local Apple retail store. She went for basic instruction on making videos, worked with the software and then went back with questions.
“We have a lot to good information on eXtension and state Extension sites so we’re trying to make the material more discoverable with social media. Once you have content somewhere, you take people there by various methods,” Kinsey says. She uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a blog to direct readers to her videos. She also thinks of new angles to point to her materials. Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, she sent out messages linking to her Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe video she had put on the web months earlier.
“eXtension has helped me connect with people who have common interests.” Kinsey says. She and Henneman have been working together about two years. “By working with others, we can increase our views. It’s a way to get your information out to a wider audience,” Kinsey concludes.
“I report my data to my supervisors and people are generally surprised at the numbers,” Kinsey says. She understands the value of using social media but often has to explain what different media channels are and how they may have changed since they were launched. Kinsey follows the Pew Internet and American Life reports and uses those findings to think about and validate her methods to reach today’s public.
• Presentation, http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/presentations/Kinsey.pdf
• Journal of Extension, Making Your Online Video Viral, http://www.joe.org/joe/2011august/tt3.php
• Working Differently in Extension Podcast – Alice Henneman, UNL Extension, http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/workingdifferently/working-differently-in-extension-podcast-files/WDiE%20Alice%20Henneman.mp3/view