The 21st Century Physician Spokesperson

June 14, 2011

I spoke with a physician friend recently about an offer to serve as a spokesperson for a small nutrition company.  After getting off the phone I thought about the future of the spokesperson.

I can’t help but think that the way it’s been done for a couple of generations is now out of synch with the way the world shares information.  Company hires PR firm.  Firm hires media ready expert.  PR firm issues press release and waits for MSM.  PR firm connects expert with interested MSM.  Printed quotes ensue.

Perhaps today’s spokesperson should be working multiple social channels.  Maybe the spokesperson of today should live among the media, or the people formerly known as the audience.  The spokesperson’s speaking should probably occur on Twitter, Facebook, Quora and the comment sections of the busiest blogs.  And YouTube is always willing to accept what the television networks find unappealing.

Rather than waiting to be quoted, we should create opportunities using the power entrusted to all of us.

My critique is tongue-in-cheek, of course.  The smartest organizations already meet the new media where they’re at.  I’ve yet to see this happen as much with physician spokespersons.  But maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.


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