On August 20, 2007, I gave a five-hour pandemic communication seminar to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The focus was on how to persuade an apathetic public to take pandemic preparedness seriously – that is, on precaution advocacy. There is no transcript available. But the seminar was webstreamed to health department offices throughout the state, and the webstream videos are available online in both audio and video formats. The picture quality is pretty bad (and there’s not much to see anyway), but the audio is okay. And I think these tapes are useful if you’re trying to arouse public concern about pandemics … or anything else.
There are three tapes. Part One has three segments of roughly 30 minutes apiece: “Pandemic 101: The Four Faces of Bird Flu”; “Risk Communication 101: Hazard, Outrage, and the Four Kinds of Risk Communication”; and “Assessing the Public’s Mood: Apathetic? Burnt Out? Skeptical? Yet to Hear?” Part Two is a 75-minute segment entitled “Selling Pandemic Preparedness” – my effort to list core strategies of pandemic precaution advocacy. Part Three is mostly an hour-long practitioner panel on “What’s Working and What’s Not,” with my interpolated comments. There is periodic audience discussion on all three tapes.
Systems requirements to access the videos are: (a) Windows Media Player 10 or better; and (b) Internet Explorer 6.0 or better. Access to the tapes is not user-friendly. It took me several tries. Here are some instructions.
Thanks to Jesus Gonzalez of the Texas Department of State Health Services, who babysat me through the process.
1. Systems requirements to access the videos are: Windows Media Player 10 or better; and Internet Explorer 6.0 or better. You really must use Internet Explorer. It won’t work on Firefox.
2. Go to http://18.104.22.168/Central_Office.
3. Type “pandemic flu” in the Search box. Then click on “Filter.”
4. Click on the “Video 377 kbps” link for the tape you want to play – the top one next to the Windows Media icon. (I never did make the QuickTime version work.)
5. You will be asked to install the video. Make sure you say yes. This installs the “video codec” (whatever that is) that Windows Media Player needs to play the video. If you click on “skip” at this point the video won’t play … and it will be very difficult to persuade the site to give you another chance. (I had to get Jesus to send me a link so I could download the video codec elsewhere.)
6. If you have problems email email@example.com.