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Health Promotion Social Media School e-Course August 2016

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Are you thinking about how you can use social media in your health promotion programs?

The Health Promotion Social Media School is a 6-week online course designed for health promotion, public health and community development practitioners.

This course has been especially developed for practitioners and organisations with a health promotion or community development focus to understand how social media can be used as a tool and a strategy.

Social media is not new, it's just a new way of doing old things. This course will help you to see how your existing skills and knowledge can be applied to each of the major social media platforms.

Venturing into social media can seem intimidating for practitioners who have not had specialised training. With this course you are given information, tools and support to apply best practice social media to best practice health promotion.

The course covers everything you need to go from social media zero to hero. It is perfect for practitioners who:

  • have had their heads in the sand about social media but are prepared to learn

  • want to use social media with their communities but aren't sure where to start

  • are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information available and want it all in one place

  • are starting to use social media in their programs and need a bit more guidance

  • want to improve their skills and knowledge in social media to help with their career and job prospects in the future as understanding social media becomes a key competency

This includes:

  • Underlying theories connecting health promotion and social media

  • Using social media both with communities and for professional networking

  • Evaluating social media efforts

  • Managing risks and equity concerns

  • Exploring each of the major and minor social media platforms and how they can be used

  • Our custom program: DIY your social media strategy in 6 steps

  • Social media mistakes and how to avoid them

The course also incorporates a closed Facebook discussion group with all participants where you can network with like minded professionals, discuss ideas and ask questions.

This is what is covered:

Week 1: Introduction to using social media in health promotion

  • Theories underpinning best practice

  • Equity

  • Evaluation and social media metrics

  • How to avoid common social media mistakes

Week 2: Facebook

  • Who is using it and what are they using it for

  • How to manage a Facebook page

  • Best practice

  • Facebook groups

  • The basics of Facebook ads

Week 3: Twitter

  • Basics and getting started

  • Using Twitter as a professional

  • Using Twitter for events including conferences

Week 4: LinkedIn and Blogging

  • How to use LinkedIn effectively, best practice and tips

  • Developing your professional identity online

  • Basics of blogging

Week 5: Visual content: Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Videos

  • Who is using Instagram, Pinterest and what for

  • Best practice principles of Instagram and Pinterest

  • Snapchat basics

  • Live video streaming - the next big social media 'thing' you need to know about

  • When and how you can use videos

Week 6: Strategy

  • Develop your own social media strategy in 6 simple steps

  • What's in a social media policy

  • How to respond to comments, both positive and negative, on social media

How the course is set up:

The course is delivered weekly to your email inbox with a presentation video, workbook and closed Facebook group forum where you can ask questions and network with other participants. It’s your chance to have a social media consultant on hand to provide advice, information and support during the course.

The course content is emailed to participants each week the content takes approximately 60-90 minutes to work through weekly. The content can be undertaken at a convenient time to fit into your work schedule. The beauty of an e-course is it removes the cost and time of travel to attend live workshops or seminars. Part-time staff can participate in training without worrying about swapping work days or losing too much time in travel.

Our philosophy is that professional development should be accessible, practical and fun!

About the course facilitator:

Kristy Schirmer

Kristy Schirmer BHSc, MPH

Principal Consultant, Zockmelon

Kristy has 15 years experience working in health promotion and public health in South Australia and London. She has worked across a range of settings and topic areas including blood borne viruses, obesity, youth health, mental health, tobacco & breast cancer. Most recently Kristy founded Zockmelon, a consultancy which aims to help public health organisations effectively use social media and other technologies in their programs. Kristy currently runs online and face to face training on using social media in health promotion and making public health apps. She is also a tutor at the University of South Australia in the Bachelor of Health Science. Kristy was awarded the Public Health Association of Australia and Australian Health Promotion Association (SA Branches) South Australian Primary Health Care Practitioner in 2014.

What others have said:

"The course was really great. Simple, easy to navigate and just great content. The added resources were really great and the strategy module was exactly what I was looking for out of this course."

Past participant, feedback from post-course survey

"As a result of the course, a report was developed for my employer on the impact of a recent Facebook activity. My employer was very impressed with the data that was collected. So thank you Kristy! Your course was very timely."

Past participant, feedback from post-course survey

"I think the structure of the course is great with the ability to re-look at content and ask questions while you try things out. Thanks Kristy."

Past participant, feedback from post-course survey

"Each module had a similar format presenting essential information, pros and cons, steps to follow and inspiring examples - this was all very useful."

Past participant, feedback from post-course survey

"This has been highly valuable to me. I have also recommended the health promotion teams in my catchment all complete this training."

Shantel Morsink, Prevention Coordinator, Central West Gippsland PCP

"Thanks so much for all your help, and your knowledge. Thanks also for sharing it in a way that makes it affordable and accessible to little (and rural) organisations like ours! I have become a Zockmelonite, spreading the word, particularly in our region amongst our PCP’s and all their partner agencies!"

Nicki Renfrey, Central Victorian PCP

"I found the course enjoyable, enlightening and informative, and particularly the delivery (webinar, workbook, Facebook) was a great combination to balance learning with workloads."

Carol Moore, Director, Moore Public Relations

"AHPA SA were just starting out with a Facebook page and group, but we (particularly the older leadership members) didn't have much experience or expertise. Kristy ran a simple but effective training session for our committee which was received with great enthusiasm by our younger committee members in particular. Her generous volunteering of time and effort has not only taught us some basic skills and thinking re social media, but has been a great way of bridging across generations on the committee. I highly recommend Kristy and Zockmelon to anyone looking for training generically re. social media but especially if you are interested in the intersection of health promotion and social media."

Dr Janette Young, President, Australian Health Promotion Association (SA Branch)


Who is the course for?

The course is designed with health promotion, public health, community development practitioners or managers in mind. It's really for anyone who is working in a project or program who wants to understand fundamental principles of social media and the key aspects of each platform. It's ideal for people who have perhaps just started tweeting or using Facebook for work and want to know a little bit more. The course is not designed for experienced social media managers as it is pitched towards a beginner-intermediate level.

How does the course work?

Each week course participants will be emailed a new module including presentation video and workbook.

It is recommended that participants set aside 1-1.5 hours each week to work through the materials and discuss their ideas or comments in the Facebook group.

You will be able to download and save the workbooks for future reference. Whilst the content is sent out weekly so you don't experience overwhelm, you are able to access the content for future reference once it has been delivered via a secure membership platform.

Participants will be able to have ongoing access to the content so when the course is run in the future, you will also be able to access any new and improved content at no additional cost. This essentially gives you access to ongoing social media professional development, in addition to being able to ask questions in the Facebook group.

What if I fall behind in the content or have annual/sick leave?

That's the beauty of an online course. You will always have access to the content and can work through the modules at your own pace.

What if I don't have Facebook, how can I access the discussion forum?

If you don't have Facebook, we strongly urge you to set up an account for the purposes of this course as you cannot access the discussion group without an account of your own. The Facebook group is closed strictly to course participants and is not open to the public. You are not required to 'friend' anyone and you are able to leave the group at any time. Previous experience with e-courses have shown that online groups add an important element of interaction and participation in lieu of the 'live' experience of workshops.

Do I require any special software for the course?

No. The course will be hosted on a secure membership platform so you just need to set up a registration and password for the site and you can watch the videos and download workbooks from there.

I am a researcher or doing a PhD/Masters/Honours, is this course suitable for me?

You will definitely gain a lot of benefit from the course, in particular sections on using Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging. This course will help you to think about your professional identity online and use social media to build your professional and academic reputation.

Our organisation does not generally work at a community level but with other organisations and professional groups, is this course suitable for us?

You will definitely find this course relevant for you as the principles and best practice aspects are able to applied to a variety of organisational contexts. Examples and case studies within the course also cover organisations who do not necessarily communicate directly with the general public.

I run a health based business. Is this course right for me?

Please be aware this course is designed for health promotion, public health and community based organisations, rather than for a 'for profit' focus. 1:1 social media coaching and strategy can be provided for businesses on request (email

Is my course registration transferrable?

Yes, you can transfer your course registration to any other member of staff from your organisation. Please ensure that your transfer is provided in writing (email with the old and new registration details including the alternative name and email addresses by Thursday 11 August 2016. Once the course has commenced transfer of registration is not available.

What is the refund policy?

Changes of mind refunds will not be given once the course has commenced. If you are dissatisfied with the course please email to discuss further however we are confident that you will feel there is excellent content and value for money in the course materials.

I am unable to pay by credit card or through Eventbrite, can I have an invoice issued and use direct deposit?

Yes, we can issue an invoice for payment using direct deposit to be paid prior to the course commencing. Please email

Can you provide receipts?

Yes, if you require a receipt for tax purpose or for reimbursement please email

Is the course accredited?

The course is not accredited. When you complete the modules, participants receive a certificate of completion.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email with any questions you are not able to find answered on this page.

When will the course be run again?

The course is scheduled to run again in 2017 - dates TBC.

Thank you for your interest in the Health Promotion Social Media School. Looking forward to having you join our growing group of Health Promotion Social Media School graduates!

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