Catholic hospital engages patients via social media

Communicators wade in where angels of mercy feared to tread (at first, anyway).

Communicators wade in where angels of mercy feared to tread (at first, anyway)

“What would a nun tweet?”

As far as underlying Twitter philosophies go, this question is perhaps one of the more intriguing. But it’s only a part of Bon Secours Medical Center’s aggressive and highly successful social media strategy.

Nick Dawson, now a part of the Catholic hospital’s business development team, spearheaded its social media initiative in March 2009 while working as a community relations and community engagement specialist.

Dawson, who had done extensive research about the use of social media in the health-care profession, began speaking and writing about the subject externally. Soon, the hospital’s marketing team approached him about boosting the hospital’s social media presence.

Selling social media through the bottom line

The hospital had a Facebook page, which launched in 2008, but Dawson wanted to bring the hospital onto Twitter. Despite having the backing of the marketing department, Dawson had to win administrative approval.

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