The proliferation of e-cigarettes has presented a new public health challenge. From claims that e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes, to conflicting international studies and findings, to youth-appealing flavors, to e-cigarette explosions, the public health community faces yet another challenge in protecting people and teens from the dangers of smoking. In fact, with e-cigarette use rising in recent years, the potential for e-cigarette explosions—which has resulted in severe injuries and hospitalizations—is also increasing. But how do people report such adverse events, which are critical public health data, to the government? Do they even know you can? A quick Google search for “report e-cigarette explosion” yields no government-related results on how to report such an event, just news reports on e-cigarette explosions and viral videos which have garnered nationwide coverage by outlets such as CNN. This presents a unique challenge for government entities such as the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health, which are seeking to collect such product safety data. There is clearly a need for more refined processing of social content and data related to adverse health events to better understand the complexity of diverse audiences and inform people on how and why they should report such health events to the government.
IQ Solutions has created an enhanced approach to social listening that considers the unique dimensions and attributes of everyday people and the visuals, such as pictures and emoticons, they share online; this approach is known as Experiential ListeningTM. At IQ Solutions, our data analysts and social media strategists employ a unified textual and visual listening approach to analyzing and evaluating the experiences that people share online as users, customers, constituents, patients, residents, and a community. Our team goes beyond traditional social listening data collection methods and analyses and uses application programming interfaces and a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to identify public health issues communicated on social media platforms in textual and visual formats related to incidences of e-cigarette explosions and other emerging public health topics.
Experiential ListeningTM offers an expanded view of the social space and the conversations taking place around health and health-related topics—revealing new outreach and engagement opportunities, and untapped audiences. Ultimately, this enhanced approach offers richer and more precise insights to help collect valuable public health data and inform proactive public health communications.