Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting the Physicians on Board

physicians and social media
Early on in the process I realized that in order to make content both authentic and representative of the hospital, I would need to get the physicians on board. In the beginning it was tough. I would call and e-mail and harass their admin's to try and get them on camera for a quick video, or get them to sit still long enough for a 15 minute podcast recording. It was not unusual for me to get no call back, or a no show's on the appointments set by admins.

My one saving grace was that I am a part of the external communications team. The physicians are used to getting calls from other members of the team asking them to do interviews for traditional media. I leaned quite a bit on my colleagues for help in figuring out which physicians were the most media friendly, tech savvy, or just plain nice. Sometimes if physician had a breaking story or research coming out they would just book them into a session with me at the same time they were booking their traditional media interview schedule, the physicians just thought they were coming to do another interview.

So every time we got an opportunity we
  • Made it an easy, and comfortable experience
  • Made the process flexible, accommodating to their schedules and streamlined so that it took as little of their time as possible
  • During set up answered the questions about the value of this project for them and their program
  • Offered the content up to them for use on their department web page
One interview at a time, we eventually began to develop a reputation for becoming a service, instead of a chore. We started to get phone calls from administrators asking for our help in finding opportunities for further exposure for the programs through social media. We are finally to the point where it is not as difficult to get them to participate, if they can find the time.

A year ago I had maybe one physician who was really engaged in social media, and participating willingly. Today I have a solid handful or real success stories.

Here are a few examples of our Physicians using social media at my hospital

Dr. Anas Younes

Dr. Raymond DuBois

Dr. Michael Fisch

Dr. Oliver Bogler


Creative Overflow said...

thanks for your insights! I'm the new online marketing coordinator at a medical university and tackling the same things you are only with students. can't wait to see what else you post

Melanie said...

Hi Jennifer,
This was an excellent article that caught my eye immediately, especially the tip about asking physicians to do interviews for traditional media. I definitely agree with finding those ahead of time that already have a toe into social media. There are starting to be more and more out there, especially with the Health 2.0 movement on the rise. Keep up the great work!
Best wishes,
Melanie M. Lazarus, MPH