Podcast: Using Snapchat to Engage Youth with Karen Murtfeldt

Katelyn Dore

In this episode we meet Karen Murtfeldt a Community Engagement Specialist at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. Karen has a passion for engaging youth where they are, including on Snapchat! Tune in and learn how Karen used Snapchat to engage youth beyond in-person health education.

Guest Bio

Karen Murtfeldt is a Community Engagement Specialist at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (PPPSW). She has a background in child development and education and earned her MPH from San Diego State University. She has worked as an educator in the classroom and in public health programs since 2005. In her position at Planned Parenthood, she provides sexuality education in schools and the community. Over the past three years, she has worked on expanding the scope of education at PPPSW through the implementation of a Snapchat campaign. Whether it is in the classroom or on a smartphone, she believes that youth deserve to receive sex positive health education—empowering them to protect and advance their sexual health, creating a culture of consent, and encouraging them to embrace their individuality.

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Snapchat is incredibly popular with young people. With our target population, teens, middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, Snapchat just wins out.
Karen Murtfeldt

About the Organization

Planned Parenthood’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive healthcare through direct services, education and advocacy. Since 1963, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest has been providing confidential, comprehensive, high-quality medical services to the communities of San Diego and Riverside, and recently began work in Imperial County as well. Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest prides itself on offering the highest standard of care possible at each of our 16 health centers. Caring, professional staff provide a full range of reproductive health care services. In addition to its renowned health care services, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest also provides comprehensive education and advocacy programs. You can count on Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest to provide you with accurate, up-to- date sexuality education and to keep you informed of the health issues that affect you the most. 

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Snapchat Team Pictured below.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Snapchat Team

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Youth reported really wanting messaging that was friendly but serious. Snapchat allows us to do that. We can talk about really serious topics but then we can also infuse fun into that.
Karen Murtfeldt

Episode Highlights

[0:25] Introduction to Karen Murtfeldt

[3:57] Favorite resources related to youth and digital media.

[5:12] Snapchat 101.

[6:46] How Snapchat is different from other social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.

[8:00] Unique features of Snapchat that make it ideal for extending the impact of in-person sex education messages.

[10:14] The steps Karen and her team took in planning the implementation of their Snapchat campaign.

[14:05] Challenges Karen and her team faced.

[18:05] Snapchat stories as a platform for virtual health center visits.

[19:45] Tips for successful Snapchat campaigns.

[22:38] Advice to other youth-serving providers interested in using Snapchat.

[24:25] How Karen and her team built their Snapchat audience.

[26:44] Karen's inspiration for her work with youth.   

Click here to access the transcript for this podcast: Using Snapchat to Engage Youth.

Article Resource

This white paper provides an overview of the youth sexual health and digital landscapes.

Page last updated: June 2018