FROM THE CEO
I invite you to follow me: @APA_CEO
BY DR. NORMAN B. ANDERSON • APA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
APA was recently ranked 12th among 350 organizations for its ability
to use social media to further its goals. Since communicating the value
of psychology to society is part of APA’s mission, we were particularly
pleased with this ranking and our growing success in using social media to
communicate with members and the public.
Our social media outreach started with Facebook several
years ago: Now we have more than 230,000 followers. We are
also using You Tube, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate
with the psychology and allied professional communities,
psychology students and the general public.
Last month, I joined Twitter so I can share content
especially tailored for psychologists, including updates on APA
activities and my insights on leadership events and initiatives
within psychological science and mental and behavioral
health. I invite you to follow me at @APA_CEO.
While I’m a late adopter of Twitter, I have come to
recognize its power to put the unique perspectives of
numerous leadership voices within our field into members’
hands in real time. My Twitter feed will selectively
follow leaders in the federal policy, science and mental
and behavioral health arenas. I look forward to adding
my perspectives, not only as APA’s CEO, but as a health
psychologist, to the conversation. My posts, together with
the posts of other leaders and policymakers, will give you a
unique, one-stop opportunity to take the pulse of emerging
news and trends within the discipline and allied professions.
In a world that demands cross-disciplinary solutions to
vexing problems, such conversations and information
sharing are vital.
In addition to using social media to extend and
supplement our member communications, APA has also been
very successful in using social media to educate the public
about psychology. One example is APA’s audio podcast series,
Speaking of Psychology. These podcasts are interviews with
members on topical issues. You can download individual
episodes or subscribe to them through i Tunes or APA’s
website. We also promote each episode on our main social
media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
We often use this podcast series to add to the media’s
reporting on a developing story. For example, in September
when news broke about an NFL player’s use of severe corporal
punishment to discipline his son, we quickly produced
a podcast featuring Dr. Alan Kazdin and his research on
effective child discipline and the problems associated with
corporal punishment. We then extended the podcast’s reach by
using Facebook ads to put the episode in front of over 650,000
Facebook users. To date, at least 35,000 people have listened
to the podcast, which can be found at www.apa.org/research/
The Kazdin podcast is also a strong example of the theme
of our public education campaign – Psychology: Science in
Action. Via the podcast and social media, we provided parents
with important and science-based guidance on how to
appropriately and effectively discipline their children.
If you haven’t visited our social media sites yet, I encourage
you to do so. One reason social media has grown so huge
so fast is that these sites are places to speak, listen and learn.
They are also exciting new vehicles to communicate the
breadth, depth and fascination of psychology directly to a vast
audience. Please join the conversation. n
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