Best Use of Social Media for Content Marketing/Brand Journalism

Health plan brand journalism site takes unique approach and thrives

Anticipating the Affordable Care Act, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington and Weber Shandwick created a healthy living brand journalism site.

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There’s a secret ingredient to any good brand journalism: Stop talking about your product, and talk about what interests your customers.

In the case of LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, working with Weber Shandwick, it recognized that the Affordable Care Act would bring millions of people into the insurance market looking for coverage.

The insurer saw that “it needed to stand for something greater than health insurance,” according to Weber Shandwick. And so was created for the more than 100,000 individual and family health customers.

Kudos go to Scott Meis, a Weber Shandwick vice president for social and digital strategies; Tom Thompson, communications manager for LifeWise Health Plan of Washington; and Weber Shandwick team members Justin Tsang and Jori Saeger.

Faced with strong competition, LifeWise differentiated its brand not by pushing products or services, but by focusing on healthy living. This involved a content marketing strategy that established LifeWise as a healthy living resource for the Pacific Northwest. acts as a local online lifestyle magazine featuring fitness tips, healthy eating ideas, motivational stories, original photography, and fun events. Stories focus on the kinds of things readers are interested in, rather than dull product pushes.

Focused on four editorial pillars—Food, Fitness, Inspiration, and Events—the site offers stories that range from “Oregon’s 5 Best Sno-Parks for Wintertime Fun” to “Simple Fitness Tips From Former Seattle Pro Cheerleader Lauren Mack.”

Social media played a huge role in promoting the site. drew 37,000 Facebook fans, with 57,000 likes, comments, shares, and clicks.

Congratulations to Weber Shandwick and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, winners of the Best Use of Social Media for Content Marketing/Brand Journalism category in PR Daily’s 2013 Social Media Awards.

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