A social media boot camp revs up hospital staffers

How do you get communicators in marketing, PR and internal communications working enthusiastically on social media for their hospital? Set up a social media boot camp, and start with the basics.

Training hospital employees to use social media can be difficult.

Have you thought about getting a little outside help?

That’s what Rush Medical Center in Chicago did when it turned to the communications firm CG&A for assistance. Not only did this move help alleviate fears about social media from the hospital’s legal team, but it also mapped out a social media engagement strategy for the hospital.

Thurston Hatcher, Web managing editor at Rush, says it was important for the hospital to “do it right.”

“We started a Facebook page, but we didn’t know what to do with it,” Hatcher says. “We wanted it to be effective. But also we’re a medical center, and we wanted to make sure that our legal department and administrators were on board with us.”

The partnership between CG&A and Rush began in 2009 when the hospital started using social media. CG&A wanted to help the hospital develop an online presence and to guide staffers on how to engage that audience. CG&A also provided a social media protocol, modeled after that of Mayo Clinic.

Rush and CG&A conducted two social media boot camps for employees to learn more about Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

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