No matter the type of event you are planning for Awareness Day, technology can take your activities and/or conversation online to expand both the number of participants and the reach of your discussion.
What is it? Skype is a free video-calling service that allows people to talk face to face via computer webcams. To work, all parties need to have the Skype program on their computer.
Benefits: Skype is a terrific, free way to include people in your event that are not able to attend in person. Skyping more than one person at a time requires a premium account, which costs $4.49 per month with a year subscription. Using Skype to bring two events or activities together is a great option to collaborate with partner organizations.
How do I start? Download the program at http://www.Skype.com. Click "Join Skype" in the upper right hand corner.
What is it? Like Skype, Google+ is a free tool that allows you to communicate with other Google+ users through video chats known as a Google+ Hangout. All participants need to join Google+ and also have a webcam. Google+ Hangouts bring together a group of up to 10 users. A Google+ Hangout could be 10 different accounts logged in, which could mean 10 individuals or 10 other events/activities taking place for Awareness Day could be part of your "hangout" at your event/activity.
Benefits: Google+ Hangouts offer a particularly effective way of organizing a panel of experts to discuss the impact of trauma on children and youth and how to help them build resilience. With Google+ Hangouts, participants can share a screen, watch a live event or video, and provide commentary at the same time.
How do I start? Learn more about Google+ and sign up at http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/.
What is it? Twitter is a free microblogging service that allows subscribers to push out information to their "followers" through short messages (no more than 140 characters).
Benefits: Twitter is a great way to introduce your event or activity to supporters and provide them with information about your program, services, and Awareness Day events. Twitter can be accessed from a computer or your phone via text messaging.
The national Awareness Day event Twitter messages are sent through SAMHSA's Twitter account (@samhsagov) in the months leading up to Awareness Day. Use the official Awareness Day 2012 hashtag (#HeroesofHope) to join a national conversation about Awareness Day with SAMHSA and other individuals and organizations participating in Awareness Day.
How do I start? Learn more about Twitter and sign up at www.twitter.com.
What is it? Facebook is a free social network that connects people and organizations. You can post general information about your organization and update your page frequently with the latest information about your services, events, and activities.
Benefits: A great way to let your "friends" on Facebook know about your Awareness Day activities is to create an event on Facebook, and then invite them to attend or join via the technology you have decided works best for your event or activity. You can also promote and provide additional information about your event or activity on Facebook. After your event, Facebook is a great place to share photos from your activities. However, make sure that you have signed release forms from anyone featured in the photographs.
The national Awareness Day event Facebook messages are sent through SAMHSA's Facebook account (http://www.facebook.com/samhsa), so be sure to "like" SAMHSA on Facebook to be current on the latest information and materials.
How do I start? Learn more about Facebook and sign up at http://www.facebook.com.