Social Media and the Healthcare Industry do not Always Mix

It has been the case for some time that addressing great numbers of the public can easily be done with a few sentences on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. But is this always wise? Though a post can be deleted, once it’s been published to the Internet it lives forever thanks to various archival websites. Most PR firms have seen the upsides and downsides of social media. Though it can be a powerful PR weapon in the war on public opinion, social media also has the potential to make things worse or create problems where none existed. As a member of the healthcare industry, it’s important that your clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office has a thorough understanding of how to leverage social media in a way that works to your advantage, not against it. A PR firm can provide expertise to make a successful jump into the online world of mass communication and one-on-one social interactions. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can provide you guidance and training, or if you would like us to handle your organization’s social media on your behalf.

Social Media Requires an Investment of Time

Even before the COVID pandemic crisis began, the U.S. healthcare system was already in full swing. In recent times, many healthcare workers have been personally affected by the virus, and others have been working long hours and seemingly endless workweeks. Where are the additional resources to take on the responsibilities of responding to the demands of social media? Hiring a PR company makes it possible to fight on two fronts: meeting the significant healthcare demands of the community, and providing the information and answers that the general public needs. Social media accounts are time and energy-intensive. We find that many of our clients had no idea how much this is true, and that was under normal circumstances. Here is a shortlist of what it takes to create, maintain, and stay current with social media accounts:

  • Each social media platform requires a profile that represents the account holder. In the case of a healthcare organization, there may be guidelines that the legal department will need to provide. The profile itself should reflect the organization’s branding from logo to colors to a slogan. All of the art must be sized to the specifications for each individual social media platform. It is not consistent between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others. Setting up social media platforms can be especially frustrating for those who are not proficient at editing images or who do not have the specialized software to do this. PR services can include setting up social media accounts for our clients.
  • Followers and subscribers expect near-instant replies to their comments, direct messages, and questions. It is rarely acceptable to take three or four days to get back to them. Social media services often include interactions with your followers and the information we provide them will be under the guidelines that you provide us.
  • Mentions of your organization by others can be a public relations boon or it can be a nightmare. One disgruntled individual can ignite a firestorm, and nobody may know if they were ever actually a patient at your institution. A PR firm can monitor all mentions of your company across all platforms. In this way, if issues arise they can be proactively addressed.

To learn more about how a PR firm can help your organization, contact a PR firm in New York, today.

Thank you to the experts at Goldman McCormick PR for their input on managing PR in medical malpractice.