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Hospitals Should Embrace Social Media in Times of Crisis

Posted Nov 02 2010 2:06am

Nancy Cawley Jean recently wrote a terrific post on the Hospital Impact blog on the subject of hospitals using social media during an internal crisis.  I encourage you to check it out at http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2010/10/20/allay_fears_and_build_loyalty_by_using_s .  Nancy is a senior media relations officer for Lifespan in Providence, RI.  She manages social media for Lifespan’s five partner hospitals and also oversees the national media relations for research at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital.   In her post, Nancy argues that social media tools are important, even essential, for managing a PR crisis.  She says, “The use of social media needs to be based on openness and honesty.”  In today’s social media savvy world, a statement and press release are not enough.  They are quickly outflanked by tweets and facebook posts. The writing on the wall is clear (no pun intended), hospitals must embrace social media and use these tools in times of good and bad news.

Nancy cites two instances in which hospitals recently laid off a large number of staff and failed to use social media to cover the news.  Nancy argues that “tough times are the perfect opportunity to use social media.” These difficult moments present opportunities for you to be honest and transparent with your constituents, continuing to build loyalty. This is a really thoughtful post by Nancy.

For more, I recommend you check out Nancy’s post on the Hospital Impact blog: http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2010/10/20/allay_fears_and_build_loyalty_by_using_s

Post by Dan Dunlop with Stephanie Cohen, UNC-Chapel Hill student and Jennings Intern


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