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Healthcare Social Media Pros to Lead

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lee Aase, Director of Social Media from Mayo Clinic, just told the attendees of the 2012 Content Marketing World Health Summit that the Mayo Clinic has 2,500 videos available on their site for internet visitors. And that 75% of them were shot with $150 flip video cameras by Mayo Clinic staff.

U.S. hospitals are starting to flex their full educational muscles.
And you haven't seen anything yet!

The content hospitals are developing is easy-to-understand, often entertaining, and much of it is lifestyle and wellness oriented. Your employees will be getting to know the best doctors and specialists locally and nationally via blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and more.

Maybe you don't believe your local hospitals can be a source
of health information people want to consume?

But I find their messaging more approachable and less clinical than most workplaces' approach to wellness. Here are a few observations:

• Hospital social media pros and doctors are starting to do a good job of keeping people healthy via a strategic focus on primary prevention (healthful lifestyles). The content is entertaining, useful, and refreshingly relevant to the way we live.

• The social media pros employed by hospitals seem to be transitioning into healthcare from consumer media backgrounds. They have an appreciation of the pool of talent available to them at their hospitals and are repurposing that content in valuable ways for their communities.

For example, take a look at healthy100.org from Florida Hospital. They ask what you want to be doing when you turn 100 years old? Talk about changing the conversation from illness to wellness!

Margaret Coughlin, SVP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer from Boston Children's Hospital, tells a group of social media pros now working for hospitals to:

• Use a systemized plan to produce and distribute content.

• Build algorithms that map patient content use.

• Have specific goals for your social media plan.

Incidentally, the Children's Hospital offers fantastic examples
of focused messaging. There is no doubt who they exist to serve,
and that clear priority results in some of the most effective health education I've seen in my career.

This entertaining vs. serious approach to education tells me, unlike most workplace wellness programs, hospitals clearly know about...

• Primary prevention (lifestyles)...
• Secondary prevention (screenings, vaccinations)...
• Or illness (emergencies, disease management).

And we end up with a wonderful "M*A*S*H" approach that takes the mission seriously, but themselves − not so much!

What does all this mean for workplace wellness?

If you know me, you know I've been hammering on the idea that wellness programs need to grow horizontally from the silo of the workplace to the broader community that surrounds us all. And that great workplace wellness programs can now be had for $0 PEPY (per employee per year).

Millions of dollars of content, effective programs, and resources are within a five-mile radius of your workplace. Your local hospitals are a good starting point. Then at state and national levels, billions of dollars more in resources await your use.

 

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