There's a Chill in the Airwaves

There's a recession on, but the YouTube generation must be immune. Or it may be that America's creative video geniuses aren't worried about the flu or aren't interested in public health. For whatever reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is not attracting nearly as many informative, creative, and persuasive video public service announcements about influenza as I expected.

image from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' YouTube video announcing PSA contestA short video featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was posted July 9 inviting the public to post video entries by via YouTube in a contest to create the agency's 2009 flu awareness PSA video. Video entries are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT Aug. 17; 34 videos were posted as entries as of 2 p.m. EDT Aug. 2, more than halfway through the 40-day entry period. "All Americans share in the responsibility to be prepared," Sebelius says in the announcement. However, on the plus side, Sebelius' video had been viewed 46,170 times by then.

"I'm excited to announce a new video contest from HHS that will tap into our nation's creativity," the secretary says in the video. "I'm not talking about another boring, educational video. This is your chance to be funny, dramatic, or whatever you think will make the most positive impact."

Whoever submits the winning entry will receive $2,500 cash, and that 15- or 30-second video will be shown on national TV. Entries should be posted to YouTube as a video response to Sebelius' call for contest entries. Contestants must have a YouTube account in order to do this (a YouTube help page is provided) and must fill out and submit an online form. Everything you need in terms of guidance about hand washing and other good practices to prevent flu infection is available at the main HHS flu page,

Posted by Jerry Laws on Aug 03, 2009