The Patient Audience

Audience is not a dirty word. Just because we live in world of two-way conversation, it doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our love of being part of an audience.

You’ve been a patient before, right?

You’ve sat for hours in a doctor’s office or emergency room. Sat and waited. Sat and breathed-in those lovely particulates of sneeze from the other people also sitting there waiting.

A fun experience, isn’t it?

Patients.  Patience.

Well, that’s a metaphor for how Healthcare typically thinks about Audience. Hospital managements don’t often think of their role as leading an audience.

Audience, what? They’re patients. And we’re healthcare professionals, not comedians!

But they are. When they sit in waiting rooms. When they go online. When they lay in beds on medical-surgical floors.

Healthcare marketing (the truly remarkable kind) has to be a deep and wide process. It’s not just about messaging. It’s about leading.

How a nurse talks with a patient, how clean a room is, how often administrators help staff lift patients – that’s all audience work.

An audience isn’t a passive group of people. What’s different online today is that you get – this is a gift – you get to interact with your audience, enhance existing relationships and extend the range of your value to them.

Most of the talk about social media these days is focused on either the tools, or on strategies about how to integrate social media into existing strategies and operations.

No, that’s not the most important conversation. In part, because the existing strategies and operations aren’t that great to begin with.

The most important thing to talk about, learn about and ultimately master is this: people love being part of an audience that is lead by people who love to lead.

So, back to that question to you earlier about being a patient. How differently would you feel about your experience, if the doctors or administrators or executives thought about you as part of an audience? As part of something remarkable to be a part of? Not just a sick dog who’s expected to heal and sit like a good dog.

There are two kinds of patient audiences: the audience of patients and the audience with patience.

Not too many audiences are terribly patient. And if they happen to be because they have little choice in the matter, how much do you think they love you?

That’s why most people hate doctors’ offices and emergency rooms – in fact it’s why they hate Healthcare in general.

You see: blog posts, comments, tweets, patient rooms, waiting areas and support groups are all just different kinds of places to serve, educate, inform, entertain and love your audience.

If you don’t love your audience why should they love you?

If you look at the places where patients live and talk and write and wait as places to delight and care for people, you’ll know which tools – online and off – you need to master.

In healthcare, there are two kinds of audiences: The patient audience and the patient audience.

Which do you think is more valuable?

@PhilBaumann @HealthIsSocial

Want to do better knowing and leading and serving your audience? Our Webinar will help you with that. Sign up here!

Healthcare Communications: Declare War on Systems

Process over-complexity is one of the biggest complaints all of us have when it comes to Healthcare. When it comes to communications in particular, things often break down and cause endless frustration.

Enter Tom Peters with 1:29 minutes of strategic initiative.

It’s a universal piece of process-improvement, but it’s particularly needed in Healthcare (not just in communications but throughout healthcare systems in general).

How can your hospital or clinic or healthcare insurance company declare war on your own systems?

Does your healthcare communications agency have the chutzpah to help your clients to declare war on systems?

Before you answer, remember: in today’s world the early bird gets the worm. Nobody notices the latecomers.

Check out our upcoming Webinar Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice. It’s not just about social media. It’s about improving systems. Sign up here!

Blogging Is No Longer…

…putting content on website in a reverse-chronological order.

Blogging is a process that takes place on and off the Web. Here’s the #hcsm-inspired tweet:

Health Is Social means that in order for the art and science of healthcare communication to be fruitful, the uses of any medium must be made as socially purposeful as possible.

Retweets don’t just happen on Twitter: When patients love what their providers do, they’ll probably tell their friends and spread good words – a process that’s otherwise known as Word of Mouth.

The same principles of conversation in social media apply to the offline world too.

You can now tweet about your experience with a physician…expound upon your tweet on your blog…update your Facebook status with a link to your post about your tweet…and then email your physician the link to your Facebook status (if it’s publicly viewable). You can even post a video of all that you just did on Youtube. All of those communications now comprise blogging, including the conversation with your physician.

Blogging is no longer blogging.

Blogging is a way of linking – and extending – the web of experiences.



Health Is Social is hosting it’s first¬†Webinar called Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice. Announcement coming within days! Get updates by email:

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