Health Media Collaboratory

The Health Media Collaboratory believes in using data to promote health.

The rapid diffusion of new media technologies has created a landscape in which consumers not only passively encounter messages and information, but also actively engage with and generate information across multiple media platforms. Also, the Internet and social media have redefined how we encounter, generate and share knowledge. These evolving forms of communication, combined with traditional media, saturate our society with messages that are powerful and complex. While mass marketing can promote unhealthy behavior and contribute to disease, we believe it can be harnessed to positively impact the health behavior of individuals and communities.

We bring together social science researchers, information scientists, and new media specialists to collaborate across and beyond academia.

NORC’s Health Media Collaboratory (HMCollab), led by Senior Fellow Sherry Emery, has developed rigorous, innovative and interdisciplinary research methods to study the impact of health-related messages that people are exposed to, search for, and share on social and legacy media. To understand the media landscape, HMCollab works at the intersection of social and computer sciences. We call it qualitative research on a quantitative scale. We also combine our media data with survey and administrative data, to evaluate the effects of media on health behavior and outcomes.

We measure the volume and analyze the content of public health campaigns and industry advertising to understand their effects on health. We create surveys to understand how individuals use media and how this experience shapes their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding health.

Social Media Data Sourcing

HMCollab developed and refined a one-of-a-kind technological infrastructure and methodological approach to rigorously measure the amount, sources, and content of health related messages on social media. Our unique methods for capturing, processing, measuring, validating and interpreting the amount, source, content, and diffusion of social media messages allow organizations to effectively evaluate the amount of exposure to media campaign and/ or product marketing messages, public reactions to them, as well as public concerns about the health communication topic of interest.

By topic modeling and content-coding, we provide insights into consumer sentiment and program performance, including whether campaign initiatives align with audience reactions and campaign goals.

Digital Media Strategy and Evaluation

HMCollab creates and enhances digital and social media strategies by establishing a new presence online or enhancing an existing one. Our talented experts define market segments, and create content to reach target audiences. We design effective websites and integrate all social and digital media platforms into a campaign. We analyze engagement with websites and social media and develop strategies to strengthen campaign messages in real-time. We also provide training in the use of social and digital media and optimizing content for social media.

We are committed to sharing what we learn.

We share knowledge with policymakers, the research community and the public so that we all can make informed decisions that protect and promote our health.

The Health Media Collaboratory Team

Sherry Emery

Glen Szczypka
Deputy Director

Yoonsang Kim
Senior Research Scientist

Anna Kostygina
Senior Research Scientist

Eman H. Aly
Director of Communications

Dani Heide
Administrative Director

Steven Binns
Research Scientist

Hy Tran
Data Scientist