Promoting Public Health through Social Media: GBA Student Kieley Filepp Leads Viral Communications Campaign with the WHO

Fletcher GBA student Kieley Filepp is one of many whose work has been affected by COVID-19. In her capacity as Global Head of Social at a large media agency, she has led a public health information campaign for the World Health Organization. The campaign seeks to promote and instill proper hand washing techniques across the world through personalized social media posts. 

Kieley’s program is working to educate and encourage adherence amongst a global audience, and they are focusing on five key health behaviors, the most universal of which is proper hand washing techniques. As part of these efforts, she is working to tap into social media culture and spread the word via celebrities, influencers, and digital interactions to stem the spread of the virus.

The campaign allows people across the globe to use their voice by participating in the #safehands challenge, a viral trend where participants demonstrate proper hand washing techniques and “nominate” their peers to partake in the challenge as well. The #safehands challenge is gaining momentum on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, drawing participation from public figures such as Arianna Huffington, Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde, and The Killer’s frontman Brandon Flowers. Kieley says, “We believe the adherence to these behaviors will increase when the information is shared from a trusted source like a friend, family, or colleague.” 

But that’s not all — in collaboration with another organization, Kieley and her team developed unique ways to personalize messaging using avatars and virtual “stickers”. These elements help dress up posts on social media all while spreading life-saving messages to trusted online networks. Kieley remarks that her team is “working to find new ways to share a critical message via global messaging and social sites.” The campaign highlights the many ways in which social media can be a force for good and an effective avenue for supporting public safety efforts.

While the campaign has had tremendous success so far, the WHO wants to accelerate messaging and make a larger impact in The Global South. The Global South includes countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

We are proud of the work our students and alumni are doing in the midst of this worldwide pandemic. We encourage you to learn more about the #safehands challenge and to help spread the word by participating on your own social accounts! 

Leave a Reply