AHRQ YouTube Policy

Social Media Policies and Tools

Social Media Policies and Tools for YouTube

This policy is intended to ensure that videos on The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) YouTube channels are coordinated, present a balanced view of the Agency's activities, and further the Agency's mission.

About YouTube

YouTube is a free, online video streaming service that allows anyone to view and share videos that users have uploaded to the YouTube Web site. Users can share videos via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, other social networking sites, Email, and other channels. YouTube users also interact with other users by commenting on videos.

YouTube is the most well-known video sharing network. Like other social media platforms, it can be used to gauge interest in a topic, gain feedback on a product, announce a campaign, see the impact of research, and provide deeper context and resources than traditional dissemination methods.

How AHRQ Uses YouTube

AHRQ uses its YouTube channels to broadcast messages to consumer or professional audiences to:

  1. Distribute AHRQ content.
  2. Increase the number of subscribers and video views to spread AHRQ's messages to various consumer audiences.
  3. Raise the profile of the Agency by highlighting work that is central to AHRQ's mission.

YouTube Content

Each video should strategically disseminate up-to-date and relevant AHRQ information. To identify appropriate YouTube content, AHRQ staff and contractors work collaboratively with the appropriate program and Office of Communications (OC) staff members. All videos are subject to review by AHRQ's YouTube Content Manager, Biff LeVee in OC, who maintains AHRQ's YouTube account.

Interactivity Guidelines

YouTube is a communication tool that places a high value on sharing and commenting on videos. The following guidelines govern AHRQ's interactions on YouTube:

  • Subscribing to other YouTube channels: AHRQ will subscribe to YouTube channels that belong to Federal, State, and local health care-related agencies as well as channels that belong to partners, stakeholders, and influencers. AHRQ will not subscribe to political YouTube channels.
  • Responding to inquiries or comments: Users may leave comments on AHRQ YouTube channels provided the comments adhere to the Comment Policy. AHRQ YouTube channels will include a link to the Comment Policy. The AHRQ YouTube channel includes language directing users to the AHRQ Contact Us page (http://www.ahrq.gov/info/customer.htm) if they have questions. Inquiries received through the Contact Us page will follow the AHRQ process.

In cases where these guidelines do not address a specific issue concerning an interaction, OC will work with AHRQ program staff to address the issue or question before responding. Send questions to socialmedia@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Approval and Set Up

To submit content to be posted one of the established AHRQ YouTube channels, send an Email to socialmedia@ahrq.hhs.gov. See Additional Guidelines and Interactivity Guidelines for details.

To create your own YouTube channel, fill out the Social Media Checklist (PDF File, 25 KB; Plugin Software Help) and submit it to Biff LeVee at biff.levee@ahrq.hhs.gov. See Additional Guidelines and Interactivity Guidelines for details.

Additional Guidelines

  • Videos should highlight AHRQ products including campaigns, toolkits, Web conferences, events, presentations, research findings, etc.
  • The OC Strategic Planner should be included in discussions early on when creating a video or a new YouTube channel. Decisions regarding creating a YouTube channel need to consider AHRQ's overall needs rather than what is needed for a specific instance. Ideas for videos should be listed on the AHRQ Social Media Checklist (PDF File, 25 KB; Plugin Software Help) and coordinated with the OC Strategic Planner and Office or Center Director.
  • Videos must be captioned according to YouTube's specifications. Either a separate .srt file with time stamps must be prepared or a transcript must exist to caption a YouTube video. No transcript is needed if the .srt caption file works correctly.

Return to AHRQ's Social Media Guidelines

Page last reviewed May 2016
Page originally created August 2012
Internet Citation: AHRQ YouTube Policy. Content last reviewed May 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/policy/social-media/youtube/index.html