I spent some time this fall at meetings with professionals who promote hospitals and health institutions. I like to peek at what they’re doing with regard to their Twitter, Facebook and other feeds.
It seems that if you work with a hospital or even a medical school, you have a couple of options regarding the way you connect with the public:
- Talk about your stuff.
- Talk about things helpful to your audience.
Almost universally hospitals and other institutions choose option 1. It seems if we talk a lot the belief is something will stick. But the hard reality is that the number of people who want to hear about your institution is dangerously small. Interestingly, the number interested in health, on the other hand, is nearly limitless.
So if you just talk about your hospital, you’ll never build an audience intent on hearing what you deliver. But if you offer something truly unique and helpful, the world will beat a path to your stuff. And ultimately you’ll build an audience that can periodically be tapped with unique messaging about your hospital.
The traditional push mindset works on the belief that everything from one’s own institution is valuable and, consequently, worthy of sharing. Everything’s amazing. Marketing types like to impress senior leadership with the vast number of info boluses forced into the world. But few seem to understand how to draw attention in a noisy world.
Think value, not promotion. You want an audience, not a pitch list.