Mayo Clinic: “Mixing Traditional Communications with New Tools” — Live from BlogWell

1:30 — Bob Pearson introduces Lee Aase, Mayo Clinic’s Manager of Social and Syndicated Media.

1:32 — Lee Aase has the slides posted in his personal blog, SMUG

1:33 — Lee says you don’t need a lot to use social media; just a lot of common sense

1:33 — Lee: Don’t just pitch the media; be the media.

1:35 — Lee presents the Sources of Information Influencing the Preference for Mayo Clinic, where Word of Mouth is at the top of the list.

1:36 — Mayo Clinic started on Twitter via RSS feed, though in February they started engaging with their followers more and their follower count increased by 400%

1:38 — Around April, Lee was alerted of interest in a video uploaded by a patient in YouTube. The video was of an elderly couple playing the piano. They embedded the video in Sharing Mayo Clinic.

1:41 — The video had been seen over a thousand times in its first six months of upload, but viewership rose to 4.3 million since April 7, with help from mass media exposure. There are more than 1.4 million views on Sharing Mayo Clinic.

1:45 — The next big thing is radio syndication, hosted by a Mayo Clinic MD with 20 years of experience. Syndication was previously not feasible, but there is opportunity for more creative application using social media.

1:46 — Lee explains how the MacGyver Syndication Plan works for this radio program. Production is at KROC-AM. Segments delivered to affiliates as mp3s, the topic posted to the blog and promoted via Twitter. Podcasts are posted 9 days later.

1:46 — Lee says this is already a win when they launched it on August 22. A formerly local program is now internationally available.

1:47 — Total cost for blog is over $75 a year.


Q: How did you ramp up social media resources with Mayo Clinic?

A: Part of it is to make the resources as close to zero as you can.

Q: Mayo has a strong brand and this is enhancing it, but have you done research to find out just how much impact social media has had on the brand?

A: We’ve had some research for awareness. Part of what this is doing is enabling us to reach a different generation, but no one realizes how much older people are involved in this platform.

Q: As a regulated industry, there are clearly some obstacles. What is your largest obstacle?

A: We know the regulations are for patient privacy, but we are fortunate to have an attorney who is on Twitter, and who understands what is needed. We don’t identify patients by full name on our blogs.

Q: Do you have any sense of who’s following your Twitter account and does it matter?

A: Demographics is a mass media thing. We’re mainly interested in people who find the content interesting. We have the opportunity to build a better kind of interaction with patients. It is all enabling us to build a better community.

Q: How do you try to handle the negatives such as complaints?

A: We follow up in private because of privacy concerns. Andy talked about companies being nicer and that’s what we’re trying to do.

Q: Did you develop social media guidelines for the employees Tweeting for Mayo Clinic?

A: We do say that people don’t Tweet on behalf of Mayo Clinic. On our personal accounts we use Andy’s magic words: “I work for Mayo Clinic and this is my personal opinion.” We want people to interact individually, because that’s the nature of Twitter, but for official Mayo Clinic-related news, we try to keep them in the official Mayo Clinic channels.

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