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‘Rap Doctor’ Credits Twitter, Other Social Media For Helping Him Win Flu.Gov Video H1N1 PSA Contest; Will Donate $2500 Prize To Shriners Hospital

October 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

In an interview this week, the winner of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) H1N1 Flu Preparedness PSA Contest, Dr. Jon Clarke, says support on Twitter and other social media was crucial to him getting the highest number of votes. “H1N1 Rap By Dr Clarke.” was chosen from among the 10 finalists on YouTube by the more than 50,000 voters. The selection was announced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week.

Clarke said his win was a “pleasant surprise” since he wasn’t exactly sure what HHS was looking for when he submitted the video and “rap music is not usually used by government.” However, he knew that his entry would appeal to a younger demographic which is a key target of public health outreach for H1N1. He told me he is planning to donate the $2500 prize to the Shriners Hospital.

Clarke has previously written health awareness raps including this one on diabetes. When not rapping, he is the Medical Director for the Long Island Railroad in New York. In addition having his PSA aired nationally, the doctor hopes to do some public appearances, including at schools, during the Fall as part of the H1N1 education effort.


Dr. Clarke’s video was ‘endorsed’ by this blog in the contest and was the top pick of experts I contacted. Since competition began, Clarke has done a number of television interviews ranging from the Fox News Channel to the “Wendy Williams Show.” But he felt that the “viral” nature of social media was key to his win, particularly since the voting took place on the web. Clarke asked me to thank the readers of this blog which he said was the first blog to support his PSA in the contest.

By the way, Clarke’s favorite PSA among the other 10 finalists was “Chainsaw”(below).


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Tags: Pandemic Flu · Preparedness 2.0

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