Social Media Launch for the FDA Office of Minority Health
In 2014 I got a big break -- nearing the end of my internship with the American Diabetes Association, I was invited to join the brand new FDA Office of Minority Health as an ORISE Digital Communication Fellow. The office was brand new, having been commissioned through the Affordable Care Act.
The OMH was split into two divisions, a research side and a strategic communication program, with a single leader, the Assistant Commissioner for Minority Health. I was the second person hired for the strategic communication division--our whole office only numbered five people. My supervisor set about building out the strategic communication program, liaising with various offices across FDA to ensure the voice of minority health and health equity carried across the agency. I set up our office’s presence on social media -- coordinating and approving posts for our office on the agency’s shared Facebook page, launching a Twitter presence and participating in Twitter chats, coordinating a board on the agency’s shared Facebook page and developing an email newsletter.
About six months in, my supervisor was recruited to a new position outside of FDA, so it was just me on the strategic communication program, reporting directly to the assistant commissioner. This period also allowed me to practice liaising with various offices across the FDA on my own. It lasted somewhere between a month and three months, then we hired two people at the supervisory level above me, and then another support person at my level to fill out the team.
In this position I learned a lot of the basics for social media--beginner graphic design, copywriting, account management. But the main things I learned were plain language writing and the approval process.