The Public is Client: Sharing Our Social Work Expertise – 9/7 at 9pm EST #MacroSW

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We’re back….well, almost. For our first September 2017 Twitter Chat, we will be talking about how to be Media Savvy Social Workers.


There are many areas that the Social Work Grand Challenges address. We have countless social workers in the field who know so much about each of those topics. This chat will address how we can use different forms of media for advocacy as individual social workers and as a profession to raise awareness about the topics in the Grand Challenges. As social workers, we each develop a level of professional expertise in our own area of practice, be it addictions, family violence, mental health, human rights, environmental justice, etc. Through our daily practice and countless hours of supervision, we acquire knowledge and mastery about area of practice.  We can adopt the idea of seeing the public as client and discuss the different methods we can share our professional expertise to individuals who may never have considered seeing or using a social worker.

Writing articles, giving talks/demonstrations, starting a blog or website, participating in a Conference Panel, volunteering our services to show expertise, contacting local mainstream media, creating a podcast, etc. All of these are ways to share our professional knowledge about these issues. Social media is a tool that also can be used for advocacy. Examples like, #BlackLivesMatter and the #IceBucketChallenge were ways to ignite discourse about meaningful topics. As social workers, we can explore which tools and methods are available to share our knowledge about the topics we care about.

Read more about this topic in this article from The New Social Worker: Be a Media Savvy Social Worker by Alyssa Lotmore.

Our host will be Alyssa Lotmore, LMSW (@AlyssaLotmore).  Alyssa is employed at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, where she earned her BSW and MSW degrees. In addition to her main role working with alumni, she has been co-hosting The Social Workers Radio Talk Show on the University’s FM radio station (WCBD 90.9 FM) since 2013. Alyssa created and instructs the course Media Savvy Social Work, which allows students hands-on practice in using the medium of radio for advocacy. She has given multiple presentations on the topic, including at the National Association of Social Workers National Conference in Washington, DC. Through all of her projects, her focus is on seeing the public as client, and using different forms of media to reach individuals who may never has considered seeing or using a social worker. As social work professionals, she believes that we need to be media savvy in sharing our expertise and raising awareness about issues that we care about.

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

 Q1: We need to tell our own story or else it will be told wrong. How do you define the social work profession and the work you do? #MacroSW

Q2: What social work related issues would you like to see get more attention in the media? #MacroSW

Q3: As social workers, how can we use both social media and other forms of media to raise awareness about issues of social justice? #MacroSW

Q4: What are the benefits/limitations to using social media as advocacy tool? Are there better options based on your main audience? #MacroSW

Q5: You are developing your own professional expertise. What are some ways in which you are, or would like to, share your knowledge? #MacroSW

Q6: Post a one to two sentence soundbite or an infographic to hook an individual into wanting to learn more about your topic. #MacroSW

 About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out:


  1. Hi,

    The Maryland Chapter of NASW is having our annual Macro Conference on Thursday, Sept. 28th. Is there some way you could help us get out the word about this? We are one of the few NASW chapters in the country which has a major focus on Macro social work and an annual Macro conference.

    Information about this conference can be found here:

    If you have any questions, please give me a call at (10) 788-1066 EXT. 16.


    Daphne L. McClellan, PhD, MSW
    Executive Director
    NASW-MD Chapter
    5750 Executive Drive
    Suite 100
    Baltimore, MD 21228
    (410) 788-1066 x16

    Please note my new email address:

    Connect with us: Facebook – Twitter – Online

    [Maryland logo smal]

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