Entries in mattsnod (141)


Healthcare Social Communications

This morning, I attended another great seminar from the Business Development Institute and founder Steve Etzler. The subject matter was social communications for healthcare companies and organizations. It's a much-debated and feared subject, given the regulatory boundaries in which pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers operate. Here are some highlights from the speakers.

Marc Monseau, Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media, Johnson & Johnson

  • 61% of HCPs have read a blog, and 79% have watched an online video for personal or professional use
  • J&J has had 80,000 downloads of their mobile Black Bag app geared towards doctors are a real-time health news feed
  • J&J has created some closed communities for connecting professionals (vision care, diabetes)
  • J&J maintains strong relationships with doctors and especially with nurses via BlogWorld, Facebook, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter
  • Marc's basics: listen to the conversation, establish your role, identify key influencers, establish policies, streamline approval process, resource appropriately, empower teams, remain flexible
  • Marc uses Google Reader to track the most influential health bloggers/writers
  • Funny moment: J&J reads a statement any dinners where they host doctors, saying that they won't object if the doctors would prefer to pay for their meal

Brian Mulligan, Assistant VP of PR, North Shore - LIJ Health System

  • Getting your extended corporate message onto social media is like fitting a square peg into a round hole
  • The challenge: YouTube is fun, but HIPPA is serious business
  • North Shore LIJ refuses to put press releases on their Facebook page

Fred Muench, Associate Director of Research, The Partnership at Drugfree.org

  • Patients are using social media to extend their health care
  • 30% of patients have e-communications with their HCP, but up to 70% of them WANT to have e-communications with their HCP
  • 78% of patients would like a counselor automatically alerted if they relapse
  • HCPs are concerned that their patients aren't getting reliable information in the social health forums
  • People are having virtual AA meetings in Second Life (seriously ... Second Life)
  • Largest growing population they are starting to cater their materials for is the U.S. Hispanic market

George Tunstall, SVP, Sales & Business Development, Within3

  • Within3 creates online health communities for pharmas, medical associations, HCPs
  • Virtual advisory board meetings can get satisfy the Sunshine Law by not paying for doctors' travel and accommodations
  • Health care communities aren't launched; they're cultivated.

Bradley Jobling, Office of External Affairs, Columbia University Department of Surgery

  • Columbia has patient bloggers reach out to them for advice
  • They run 11 different Facebook pages around various topics
  • NY-based doctors have such a strong offline network among their peers that they don't really use Sermo or Osmosis to information-exchange
  • You can't do everything you want at once. Pick one program to kick off a social media initiative.
  • They participate in sharecare.com



Engagement Span

This week, I'm in Austin, TX, at my company's leadership summit. A collection of great minds have come together to share their experience and ideas on where marketing and online communications is headed.

It's a new year, and this social media rage will continue to grow and to change. That seems to be the only constant -- that things in social media are always in flux. That's what makes this so exciting.

Some great nuggets from the talks:

  • Customers only spend 1% of their time in the actual process of the purchasing action. The other 99% of the time is spent learning, assessing, reading reviews, etc. Companies need to concentrate their efforts more on that 99%.
  • Great applicable quote from Wayne Gretzky: "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."
  • Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams: "You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me."
  • Imagine if companies used social media research when they developed: New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, Smith & Wesson mountain bikes, McDonald's Arch Deluxe.
  • When you interact, you learn. When you learn, you improve. When you improve, customers appreciate it. When customers appreciate it, they help you learn more.
  • About 92% of Americans get their daily news from multiple sources. (from Pew Research)
  • Message to companies: Don't build a website that people come to; build a website that people come back to.



You're Not Last

Each day, I see companies that think they're still far behind in social media. They each believe that everyone else, including their competitors, is way ahead of them in terms of their social media prowess and expertise. But the thing is, nearly everyone thinks this. Not everyone can be in last place. That would mean everyone's also in first place.

Social media is still in its infancy. And you're not really any father behind than your competitors. Even if you have a competitor who seems like they're way ahead of the pack, that just means they tried out something first. There are no real "standard ways of doing something" -- it's just a way of doing something.

Point being, if you haven't at least dipped your toes in the social media (media, really) pool yet, go for it. But do it in a thoughtful way, just as you would take on any new business venture. Namely ...


  1. Be sure your social media policies and guidelines are in place.
  2. Claim your name. Sure, you have www.mycompany.com locked up, but do you have "MyCompany" locked up for YouTube? Twitter? Flickr? Or any number of hundreds of social media channels?
  3. Figure out who will be handling this. Reality check ... it's not a job you can just pawn off on the receptionist.
  4. Train and empower your employees to use social media.


Mind you, these are broad strokes, but at least it should get you thinking. And by the way, Merry Christmas!


Google Instant Previews

Google has quietly rolled out another interesting feature to their search offering. It's called Instant Previews. It allows you to hover over the list of search results and see a thumbnail preview of the site.

The thumbnail, while not small, as thumbnails go, is certainly not big enough to read any text on the site. It's even less legible than viewing a full Web page on an iPhone. It seems the only benefit it affords you is helping you with that gut reaction you get when you click on a new site. At a glance, you get a sense if the site is 'legit' or not. Instant Preview would certainly help weed out the geocities.com's of the world from the cnn.com's of the world.

One downside for these indexed websites is that it may actually cause less click-throughs. If you can glance at 10 sites to judge its relevance to you, then there's no need for you to click on those 10 sites. For Google, it would subsequently keep you on their page longer, perhaps by design.

In terms of usability, you do have to click on the little magnifying lens next to the search result, the first time, in order to activate the thumbnails for all of the results. In fact, you have to click on the magnifying lens each time you run a new search. Also, there are no thumbnail previews of the Sponsored Results -- something I'd actually like to see added.

An important point for Web developers and administrators ... some websites do not display properly with Instant Previews. Across the board, Flash sites and Flash elements to websites show up as a puzzle piece in the preview. And some sites, like Coach.com, don't work at all.

What do you think? Have you used it?


Games Rule Mobile

For all of us who constantly think of that great and useful app that we'd love to make for our iPhone or Android phone, it seems that the best bet is ... games. Not surprisingly, games dominate the mobile app world.

Of smartphone owners surveyed by Nielsen who downloaded apps last month, 61% said they've downloaded a game. In second place was weather apps, then maps/search, social networking, and music. Surprisingly, health-related apps ranked pretty low at 14%. I think that could be, in large part, due to the fact that there aren't many great health-related apps out there.

As I look to my own app-purchasing habits, this does follow suit. And if I can only stop playing Angry Birds and Boggle, I'll regain some of my sanity.