Hospitals can build stronger connections to the community through popular social media sites and apps. Some hospitals are hiring full-time and freelance journalists to write stories and produce videos on health trends, news of the day and the hospital itself.
“We’re updating the site with two to three stories a day,” says Cheryl Welch, managing editor for one of the more ambitious efforts, Spectrum Health Beat, which is backed by Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Spectrum Health Beat, found at healthbeat.spectrumhealth.org, is fueled by a team of 10 freelancers contributing on a regular basis.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, publishes news stories on multiple social media outlets. “In this day and age, there are so many ways to get the word out,” says Donna Teach, chief marketing and communication officer for the hospital, which she says relies on more than 30 different social channels. Saint Thomas Health, Nashville, Tenn., hired a former television news anchor to run its reporting effort, also called Health Beat, www.sthealthbeat.com.