You may want to think twice about checking in via social media at your favorite coffee shop or pizza hangout if your doctor has prescribed you a low sugar or low cholesterol diet. In the very near future social media platforms will link to electronic medical records. And that means for better or worse, your doctor and health insurance provider will be watching you.
This is just one topic of conversation that is being discussed this week at the National Association of Children’s Hospitals & Related Institutions “Creating Connections” annual conference in Baltimore. I’m attending with our client, The Children’s Hospital, and have enjoyed meeting other communications professionals and learning more about how they are incorporating social media practices into their hospital communications programs.
I sat in on a session with Kerting Baldwin of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., where she discussed how Web 2.0 has allowed user-generated contest to flourish, but stressed traditional media relations is still fertile ground for those practitioners who can leverage two powerful tools – relationships and technology.
“We need to put heart back into what we do. We’ve lost the art of caring and creating connections,” said Baldwin. She talked about treating media like a customer and when we do, we create an experience, and that experience creates trust and a relationship.
Baldwin also urged us to rely on the power of our social networks to expand our community. A few simple takeaways/reminders from Baldwin included:
• Create a group of loyal ambassadors who can tweet, post and blog about your brand (employees, other agency PIOs, community partners, neighboring businesses, etc.)
• Ask reporters who are covering your stories to tweet and blog about them (hey, they have a Facebook page and Twitter account outside their media accounts too)
• In turn, post their stories in your organization’s social venues, and your own Facebook and Twitter platforms
• Adopt these practices and integrate them into your current
She ended the session with a great quote from Hermes, “It is not the strongest of our species that will survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change.”
I may not be ready for FourSquare or to have my doctor know how many Chai lattes I drink in a week, but I am ready to create and enhance current connections for myself and GroundFloor Media’s health & wellness practice. It is a small world after all.