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04/13/2013    Crystal Holmes, DPM

APMA Pinterest Page (Brian Kiel, DPM)

As chair of the APMA Communications Committee
(formerly the Public Education & Information
Committee) that oversees the development of
public education campaigns, I feel compelled to
respond to Dr. Kiel's comments about the
Pinterest page that is part of APMA's spring
Beat Bunion Blues campaign. This is a robust
campaign that includes video, posters, tip
sheets, print articles, media outreach, and
more. Social media also plays a role because it
is has proven to be very successful in reaching
our target audience, women ages 35-55, the
health-care decision makers in most American
families--and frequent bunion sufferers.

Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social
media sites and is wildly popular among this
target audience. Users "pin" or post images to
the site and "repin" images from others. The
images (not the source of the images) are the
content users are interested in. It's a
virtual "pin board" that allows users to
communicate and share via pictures. APMA's Beat
Bunion Blues page on Pinterest features a wealth
of images pinned from a variety of sources
around the topic of bunions. Some were created
by APMA (our bunion tip sheets and videos), and
some were not. Not all the content on the site
is content APMA endorses--it is designed to be a
virtual collage of thought-provoking images with
the underlying message that a bunion should be
treated by a podiatrist (a message that is
underscored in every item actually created by

Avid Pinterest users understand the nature of
the site. APMA's staff social media experts have
conducted significant research on the site and
how it is used, as well as the types of images
and content users respond to. Our tracking shows
us that it is generating interest among the
public and driving the public to our more
serious communications channels (like our
website). We also have generated interest from
reporters who visited our Pinterest site and
have sought out podiatrists to discuss bunions
and their appropriate treatment.

In short, in just the first two weeks of the
campaign, Pinterest, along with our other social
media channels, is proving a successful and
useful tool in educating the public and
inspiring a conversation about bunions and
treatment by podiatrists.

APMA has emerged as a leader among medical
societies in its use of social media in the past
two years. I encourage our members to begin
using social media sites on a regular basis to
better understand how they work and affect the
public and to best take advantage of the
resources APMA provides on these channels.
Follow us on Twitter at @apmatweets, like us on
Facebook at, and search
APMA on Pinterest.

Crystal Holmes, DPM, Chair, APMA Communications

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