Jacob Weiss – Juggling Healthcare Messaging

A wise man once said laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Well, there’s no shortage of laughter in this episode with Jacob Weiss, who’s the director of High-Wired communities and Entertainment That Gives Back. Listen to the podcast and find out why laughter is the best medicine on Get Social Health.

Contact Jacob


Entertainment That Gives Back

High-Wired Communications 


Janet:                                00:00                   A wise man once said laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Well, there’s no shortage of laughter in this episode with Jacob Weiss, who’s the director of High-Wired communities and Entertainment That Gives Back. Listen to the podcast and find out why laughter is the best medicine on Get Social Health.

Announcer:                      00:21                   Welcome to Get Social Health, a conversation about social media and how it’s being used to help hospitals, social practices, health care practitioners, and patients connect and engage via social media. Get Social Health brings you conversations with professionals actively working in the field and provides real-life examples of healthcare social media in action. Here is your host, Janet Kennedy.

Janet:                                00:47                   Welcome to the Get Social Health podcast. Today I have somebody who is going to help me solve some personal problems and that is Dr. Jacob Weiss.

Janet:                                00:56                   He is a researcher and a social entrepreneur and he’s going to be speaking at the annual conference of the Mayo Clinic social media network that’s coming up November 14th and 15th in Jacksonville Florida. His topic is how juggling taught me to engage my community for health and well-being. Well I have to tell you I’m having a lot of trouble juggling and also juggling and engaging my community. So this is going to be a very valuable session for me. Welcome to Get Social Health Jacob!

Jacob:                                01:28                   Thanks thanks for having me.

Janet:                                01:30                   I was flabbergasted when I saw that we were going to have a person with expertise in juggling at the annual conference of the Mayo Clinic social media network and I’m thrilled because I actually have a cousin who is a professional mime, clown, and she has awesome juggling skills. So that is amazing.

Jacob:                                01:52                   Yeah it is. It’s going to be a lot of fun for a lot of people don’t realize the connections you can make and the AHA moments you get when you bring in something that’s a different industry. But where there is a really positive connection that you can make, and building bridges across.

Janet:                                02:08                   Absolutely. And I think some of this has to do with when you send people particularly to a conference or an event where they’re expecting the same old same old. And you throw them for a loop. They’ve got to kind of think differently.

Jacob:                                02:24                   One of the things I love about juggling is it’s that physical getting up and moving it’s visual it’s it’s not another PowerPoint slide for example and it and so if you’re trying to convey a message or teach or share knowledge you can’t just share the content you have to do in a way that keeps them awake. That makes them engage in a way that it’s really sticky that they can remember back to it when they want to use it. So that’s one of the powerful ways that we use juggling as part of sharing content and real knowledge as well.

Janet:                                02:57                   All right wait a minute I’m very easily distracted as you’ll probably discover in this podcast interview. However, I’m envisioning you being up there and juggling three to five balls and all this awesome stuff is going and your and you’re imparting words of wisdom.

Janet:                                03:11                   I gotta tell you I’m going to be totally focused on your juggling skills and I’m not going to be listening.

Jacob:                                03:16                   Fair enough. And I will give you a preview that most of the time that there’s talking. It’s not at the same time as the juggling so that the juggling will make you can enjoy it and have fun with it and then we use the other parts following before and after to connect when there’s a metaphor or sharing a story of what I’ve done with juggling and community and building healthy communities using both juggling and social media. So it’s not the distracting part it’s the get you to focus then you can listen.

Janet:                                03:51                   Well now folks know me as a social media early adopter and somebody who uses it probably to the point where they like Janet you need to take the day off. But I’m trying to put together my idea of social media and juggling. Well, the first thing of course is that’s all social media is I am bouncing from one thing to another trying to keep all my content up in the air respond to things like there’s a perfect metaphor for there. But what you’re actually saying this is a physical metaphor as well.

Jacob:                                04:22                   There’s the metaphor of keeping the balls in the air. And one of the things I talk a lot about is you know it’s a marathon, not a sprint when you’re learning to juggle. You don’t drop a ball and give up in two minutes and say I can’t do it. Same thing with social media. You’re getting started on that whether it’s a new career path or a new project with social media. You don’t just try something and say Oh did it work. I’m quitting it. It’s really that long-term goal and process which is the same as learning to juggle. So you’ve got those metaphors. But there’s also a real physical mindset shift that you can make a connection to while you’re actually physically learning to juggle. And so it’s not just a conceptual metaphor but it’s a physical experience that you can go through that that you can make connections to when you’re working on those other areas of your life or work.

Janet:                                05:19                   All right let me ask you something and maybe this is why I’m not very good at juggling and I can’t get past five passes the ball is because I’m always thinking about the ball’s going to land here and the ball’s going to land here as often we do and work of I’m going to do this again this which means everything just becomes a blur. Am I doing juggling wrong?

Jacob:                                05:41                   I would say you’re doing juggling wrong a lot of ways if you can. One of the ways we teach for example when we’re really teaching getting past the first couple of throws is to stand over a table or a desk and let those next. Those that you’re trying to get to hit the ground right it lands on the table. Then you have infinite time to make the next throws after that’s already landed on the ground. And it also helps you get past worrying about the drops and really focusing on that. So it’s it’s like with work when you’re working on social media or any really any work or project it’s its focus on what you can be getting done now not worrying about the next drop that could happen and end. And then you get to that as it comes. And so it’s juggling it really is almost like yoga or meditation is that sense of flow. You have a feeling of when it clicks in.

Janet:                                06:39                   I will say the other part of the metaphor that I really like that a lot of clients or big companies or even healthcare organizations have to grasp is that you’re going to drop a ball and in social media, you’re going to spell something wrong. You’re going to have a link that didn’t work that you’ve got to repost because when you think about the volume of what you’re putting out and the speed at which you’re putting it putting out if your social media is all 100 percent planned vetted reviewed edited and signed off on it’s boring. You know that’s like picking the ball up and then picking the ball up and then picking the ball up as opposed to ball hand, ball, hand, ball.

Jacob:                                07:16                   Exactly along the lines of what you said in terms of that’s boring people connect on social media. It’s not a press release. Right. It’s that you’re connecting you’re having real conversations with real people. And the same thing when you watch juggling. I often when I teach other performers they’re not watching the balls in the air they’re watching you having fun with the juggling on stage and it’s the same with social media. It’s not just the announcement here announcement their content they’re engaging with you and your personality and that has to shine through in a genuine way. Again it’s the same thing if you’re performing on stage five hundred people as if you have five hundred dollars on social media that you’re engaging with. It really just has to come from a genuine place from you not just what is the content that you’re sharing.

Janet:                                08:07                   You know I can talk about juggling forever but at some point, people are going to wonder why are we bringing a juggler to this conference and actually you get some letters after your name and you have some established academic credibility to this work you’re doing so tell us a little bit about your background and how you managed to bring this childhood love of something all the way through your academic career.

Jacob:                                08:30                   Sure. Apart from being a juggler since I was about 10 years old, I went to Princeton University for my undergraduate and I was focused on computer science engineering where in addition to developing computer-controlled juggling musical instruments that I’ve played while juggling with sensors I also developed in the pre-Facebook days Facebook-type friends list connecting sharing kind of building between aim AOL Instant Messenger and Facebook world and of bridging the gap and working on projects and developing concepts from that from the computer science and I then went from there to Vanderbilt University. I did my Ph.D. in biomedical informatics where I was taking a lot of that approach to social networking and the healthcare focus. And when I got there it was there was a really strong emphasis not just on the medical record as in information repository but the medical record as a communication medium between the doctors and the patients and the nurses and everyone involved and so that really was a powerful connection to what I was excited about and that was a time when a lot of things were you know how do we email doctors not even considering anything social media.

Jacob:                                09:53                   And so a lot of my research was when in the first iPhone came out. We were developing projects around medication management for kids using the early iPhone before you could even make official apps for it. And so all of my research has really been about how do you connect people online but offline as well.

Jacob:                                10:16                   So a big part of my focus and from that world is not just thinking about social media as something in it by itself it’s something that can also enhance and complement real-world relationships. Right. So if you can have patients all around the world talking. And that’s an important part of social media. But you can also use social media to coordinate emphasis with conversations that also happen in the real world. Whether it’s between the patient and the care team whether it’s in a local support group or which a lot of my work was looking at all of the different nonprofits working in health care in the local community who are very siloed and disconnected.

Jacob:                                11:02                   How do you find ways to create more connections between them and so did you immediately go into founding your own company or did you work in that traditional bioinformatics program somewhere.

Jacob:                                11:16                   Yeah it was pretty much right from my Ph.D. starting my own thing in part because I had continued while I was at Princeton I started up the student juggling shows on campus while doing my research. And when I got to Vanderbyl I started up the juggling group and shows on campus there. So I’d always been doing a combination of starting up juggling programs and creating social networking for community building and health care. And so there was no one job that equally considered both of them. There might have been one or the other and they said oh yeah you can do that little stuff you do on the side with you can’t do this while doing that. And so. So it really wasn’t it wasn’t something that I really purposely went into. It’s just continuing what I’ve always been doing really organically growing and so just kept going and applying a lot of my research work more on consulting or project-based work and then starting up a touring juggling performing company.

Jacob:                                12:23                   At the same time that’s a social enterprise. So we use that juggling and just like my research to create connections between nonprofits between companies and local nonprofits. And so it I sometimes describe even from the juggling side and doing more in line with my research than if I stayed in the field in academia doing what most informatics is focused on. Because my research really was combining the informatics work with community based participatory research models ethnography. How do you bring together a local community for collaborative design of an online space so it wasn’t just how do we use the online space to us? How do you bring people together to collaboratively design an online space for people who aren’t social media experts or designers? And how do you make it something that from participating they learn at the same time and can go back to their organizations and enhance the work they’re doing online themselves. Have you actually published your dissertation part, not the full dissertation? However many of these are papers but papers out of it. For sure.

Janet:                                13:38                   Okay. And is the word gentling used in near doctoral dissertation?

Jacob:                                13:42                   Well I don’t think I have to think I don’t think the word juggling ever specifically appears but I will say several of the conferences where I presented that for informatics there was juggling involved in those presentations and in my dissertation defense I believe there was juggling involved.

Janet:                                14:02                   Oh wow okay. So my really big question is does your mother say my son the juggler or my son the doctor?

Jacob:                                14:11                   I would say sure. It depends on the context. I think mostly she’ll say my son the juggling doctor but she actually works in medical informatics as well. That’s what got me introduced I’m interested in that field. And so she gets that part of it. But she also has been around since I was a kid so she knows the other half from the juggling side. And again it’s from the outside it seems very different. But if you think about it what I’m doing with everything I do is bringing people together and finding ways to connect with people and connect people to one another. And there’s a quote I like that came from Victor Borge –

Janet:                                14:58                   I love Victor Borge!

Jacob:                                15:00                   And it’s “laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” And that applies to what we do with our juggling performances and the outreach we do when we go to children’s hospitals and in the community. And it also applies to social media and making real genuine connections on social media. It applies to what we’re doing in the community and building real relationships when you facilitate conversations in a community. And so I don’t think it’s anything that’s completely different. They’re both two parts of that same mission of bringing people together.

Janet:                                15:39                   When I look at your LinkedIn profile I see that you actually have five concurrent jobs a year therefrom X to present. So. Oh my gosh, what exactly do you do for a living?

Jacob:                                15:52                   So again the concurrent it’s all part of all of the pieces that you see on LinkedIn where they’re all the different pieces and programs that we’re doing with the companies that I started. So technically there are two companies the informatics social media community building consulting and the other is the juggling performance side. But a lot of it weaves together in different ways. And so, for example, one of the programs that we’re doing that we just launched this past year it builds on what we’ve been doing with our touring performances and outreach and just really quick with that the model as a social enterprise it’s kind of like that Tom’s Shoes model if you know where every pair of shoes you buy they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need with our live performing. Every time our show is brought in to a corporate event we donate a visit to a non-profit in the community and we just launched a program that not just it’s not just our visit out in the community that’s real and we see the impact it makes but we’re able to donate excess of juggling balls as well to the different programs because again the juggling it’s the fun as the play.

Jacob:                                17:06                   But it also helps people connect with the mindset going from an I can’t do this mindset to oh I can do this. We have a path to success. A message that says try drop, try drop, try drop, over and over down the page. Pause. Breathe. Try. It will succeed. And when people learn to juggle they can connect to that mindset and apply it to other things that they’re doing. So that’s the that’s what do good and juggle is. But all of them are part of the kind of core companies that I’ve started.

Janet:                                17:48                   So what kind of companies are bringing you in, and do they know what they’re getting ahead of time?

Jacob:                                17:54                   Oh yeah, well some companies will bring us in for the entertainment and then as talking and they realize that I have my Ph.D. in healthcare and technology and also are giving back elements. Then we start talking even more about that piece and then some people are looking more for the community building consulting or corporate training or leadership. I teach a course on community engagement and leadership and end up bringing the juggling and improv comedy techniques and storytelling into that process of the class there and so sometimes people come from one direction and get the other and then it can be flipped depending on who the client is. But we did we do kickoff for a large healthcare company technology company conferences and we’ve been to the White House Madison Square Garden. So from the performing end, we do that side and then from the training side we’ve worked with a lot of some of the major marketing companies, for example, brought us to work with their teams as well as incorporate giving back elements so sometimes companies will bring us in when they’re trying to do something that gives back. But there’s also a team-building or fund program for their employees as well.

Janet:                                19:12                   Oh that sounds like a lot of fun when you were telling me before we started the interview what your schedule is like over the period where the conference is going on. I was sort of mind boggled. You have to have somebody who says Not today if it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium.

Jacob:                                19:30                   Right. So yeah we’ve got at least three possibly four. If I do something locally in Nashville that just came in that week. So basically from Sunday Sunday three different cities which is not always that crazy but it definitely can get a little hectic with that.

Janet:                                19:47                   Now what exactly is an entertainment? What is your show like? I mean no lions no tigers no trapeze. So what exactly are you doing? Is it a circus event?

Jacob:                                19:59                   So at the conference, I’ll be doing some incorporating some of the performance acts from our touring show and more so doing a lot of talking and making that connection to social media and healthcare and community building with our touring show. We also do that by itself where it’s an hour to 75 minutes no speaking. It’s a three-person show sometimes. And people have compared it almost to Blue Man Group without the crazy makeup. If that makes sense. It’s no speaking it’s got a lot of musical elements juggling physical comedy but really it’s just the three of us having fun on stage together and sharing that with the audience Dave juggles fire. We don’t juggle fire in the show. I can and have but are most of what I do with the performing it’s more about the creativity and the teamwork than it is about the danger elements.

Janet:                                20:56                   All right. This is going to be so exciting and it’s really going to catch people by surprise. I think this is going to be a great event.

Janet:                                21:04                   And I know that it sounds like you’re doing some really amazing things when you go to say do a corporate event you’ve got this pay it forward model where you’re doing something is it hospital visits are you doing fundraising shows?

Jacob:                                21:20                   Some of it’s been more into the fundraising style. Most of it is more going out into the community like to the hospital and visiting with the patients doing a show in the lobby for the patients and the families and the staff even which I think that’s an important part of wellness for the caregivers and the staff and ignoring that element. And so we’ll do that we’ll go out into a local school for example. And and so just giving you an example sometimes that if the client really wants to plan a big event that ties into a charity that they’re trying to support then we end up doing that if that’s what their interest is. But sometimes it might be just visiting, for example, local Ronald McDonald House and there is an example of an event we did. And we went. We went to the local Ronald McDonald House and it was pouring outside.

Jacob:                                22:18                   And so most of the families were stuck in the hospital and couldn’t get back to the house. But there was one family. It was the husband and wife whose child was in the hospital but they couldn’t get there because of the rain. And so we ended up just doing a short show in the living room for that couple and taught them to juggle. And it wasn’t what we planned in terms of how many people were going to be there. But on the way out and we were leaving and the house manager told us that was exactly what they needed at that time. And so we’ve had other people with our outreach describe how they haven’t left together as a family and over a year and that this was a way that they were able to do that and connect us especially if they were in the hospital or dealing with a challenge like that.

Jacob:                                23:10                   So so that’s our outreach. It really can be tied into the client wants to focus on health care education and we’ll work with them. But we just see the power and impact that it makes. And that’s something that came from my work. The first outreach we did was working with a lot of the Cancer Support Programs Gilda’s Club here in Nashville is an amazing program and we’ve worked with them. And I got to know them from when I was doing my research and working with the cancer center at Vanderbilt. And so we’ve found ways to do programs for them. And so most of it’s less about the fundraiser elements and more about really making that personal impact with the families who need it.

Janet:                                23:57                   I love all of this and I love the fact that you’re maybe the first person I’ve ever spoken to that had a passion as a child that they have been able to carry through their whole adult life and into their career. That’s awesome and cool.

Jacob:                                24:12                   And I will say it was not planned. If you asked me when I was doing my Ph.D. and doing this student shows at the same time if I plan to be a professional juggler in any way and I wouldn’t have said so. Actually, when I first got to Princeton I had no interest in performing I was just juggling I didn’t think I had time for it. And then it just gradually evolved. And so it’s it’s been very organic and not scripted in and how I want to incorporate it and that I’ve always dreamed of being a professional juggler since I was a kid. But it’s been something that’s been a solid foundation and core to everything I’m doing.

Janet:                                24:53                   All right so where do you go for professional development?

Jacob:                                24:56                   You know some of the people that I work with for example who do storytelling and storytelling as a way to see different ways to think about things whether it’s strategy or opening up connections. And so those kinds of those partners that I work with but also learn from at the same time there’s a lot of people that I look up to both from that and then there are people whether it’s in the fitness industry and they share advice and messaging around for example. You know trust the process which is a message around their fitness but it’s also a message for careers my career for what we’re doing with how we teach the juggling.

Jacob:                                25:41                   There’s a lot because it’s the typical industry where you go and take a professional development community building and juggling and healthcare technology all woven together. I kind of get it piece by piece. I do a lot of reading and listening to podcasts and following people look up to from that an awesome.

Janet:                                26:01                   Well OK. Is there a great circus podcast you’d recommend?

Jacob:                                26:05                   I don’t follow too much circus podcasts. I would say more from I would say the marketing. There’s a lot of videos that you know keep up with people posting videos from the circus and juggling side through Facebook and you know that network and I follow more of the marketing podcasts and healthcare and those side of things as well.

Janet:                                26:29                   Now you’ve got to have a guilty pleasure podcast. So is it serial killers or True Crime or history?

Jacob:                                26:37                   No I don’t. I haven’t really gotten into that side of podcasts listening although I would say that part of everything in terms of what I do free-time wise my wife and I have our 21-month-old at home. So everything’s been a blur for the past few years now.

Janet:                                26:57                   I can’t imagine. All right so just so you know this is a parent tip here when your child is 22 months old. Measure them double their height and that’s how tall they’ll be as an adult.

Jacob:                                27:08                   Interesting.

Janet:                                27:09                   Not 24 months.

Jacob:                                27:10                   I will look at that. I will look at that.

Janet:                                27:13                   I did that for my son and lo and behold he did grow up to be 6 feet 4 inches tall. So.

Jacob:                                27:19                   Well my wife’s mother is six feet tall and so maybe our daughter will get that side of the family but who knows.

Janet:                                27:26                   There you go. Well I am so looking forward to meeting you in Jacksonville and a hearing watching and sounds like actively participating in your program. It’s going to be a great event.

Jacob:                                27:40                   And I’m going to have a lot of fun. And look forward to seeing everyone there and always feel free whether you see me at the conference to come up and say hi and mine. Always happy to connect and look forward to meeting everyone.

Janet:                                27:54                   That’s going to be a blast. All right I’ll bring my own juggling balls and I will see you in a few months at the Mayo Clinic annual conference of the social media network. It’s taking place November 14th and 15th on the Mayo campus in Jacksonville Florida. If you happen to be new to social media and or health care there’s also an all day program on the 13th which is called the social media residency. So you can really get up to speed no matter whether you came from the journalism marketing side of the house and need to learn healthcare or you come from the healthcare side of the house and you’re not that experienced with marketing and social media. That is a great intensive daylong session that you will walk away from with practical and tactical ways to manage your own social media. So I encourage you to look into that as well. Social media dot Mayo Clinic dot org is the place to find this information. Again Jacob thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Jacob:                                28:52                   Thank you.

Announcer:                      28:52                   And now here’s a social media success tip.

Lee Aase:                          28:57                   Hi this is Lee Aase. I’m the director of the Mayo Clinic social media network and happy to share one of my favorite tips and that is to don’t overcomplicate things. I know that in some of the early days with the flip camera many of the complaints that people had was an audio quality. And so they would often look for a camera that could have an external microphone and that would sometimes complicate things to the point where they didn’t shoot the video that they could otherwise abused. So one of the rules that I live by is that you can’t edit what you don’t shoot. Wow, I agree it’s great to get external microphones. I’d be focusing on some of the shotgun ones the ones that can attach to a bracket with the iPhone or Android phone but not to get overly complicated. Look at what you can do in terms of natural light as well as finding a good quiet place to do the interview so that you don’t get hindered from actually shooting the video. That could be really helpful for your communications purposes.

Announcer:                      30:07                   You’ve been listening to the Get Social Health podcast. The show notes are located at To join our healthcare social media journey, follow @getsocialhealth on Twitter and start a conversation.

Janet:                                30:22                   Thanks for listening to the Get Social Health podcast, a production of the Healthcare Marketing Network. And a proud member of the Healthcare Podcasters Community. I’d like to take a moment and tell you a bit about the Healthcare Marketing Network. We’re a community of freelance healthcare writers. Our organization can match your company or healthcare practice with clinically accurate, specialized, or general health care and medical content, from blogs to white papers to CME, the Healthcare Marketing Network has the writers you need to reach your business audience or patients. To find out more visit or contact me via social media or email at [email protected]. Thanks for listening to the Get Social Health podcast.


Michael Sengbusch – Facebook and Healthcare

Michael Sengbusch – Facebook and Healthcare

Meet Michael Sengbusch

Since leaving Influence Health in 2017, Michael Sengbusch joined ATDC as the CTO-in-Residence. ATDC is Georgia’s oldest, largest, and most influential startup incubator. At ATDC he mentors and advises over 40 startups in Atlanta. Michael continues to be actively involved in both healthcare and marketing technology. He will be speaking at Healthbox Studio in October on healthcare marketing topics.
More info on ATDC:
ATDC Healthcare Technology Vertical:
Twitter handle: @msengbusch1 

On the Get Social Health podcast, Janet interviews Michael Sengbusch about Facebook and marketing for healthcare systems. Give a listen or review the transcript notes below:

Janet: 00:00 Podcasting is a fun, yet sometimes time-consuming passion. As some of you may have noticed, I took a little hiatus from podcasting so I could focus on the launch of the Healthcare Marketing Network, a company that brings together healthcare companies with healthcare writers. I’ll tell you more about the Healthcare Marketing Network at the end of the podcast. However, in taking my little leave of absence, I had previously recorded a few interviews that hadn’t been published. Today’s conversation is with Michael Sengbusch, a healthcare technology and marketing expert. In my intro, you’ll hear that I mentioned where he was working at the time of the interview, but I’ve got a little update on Michael’s career since we recorded this interview.

Janet: 00:42 Michael Sengbusch, left Influence Health in 2017 and joined the advanced technology development center as their CTO in residence. ATDC is Georgia’s oldest, largest and most influential startup incubator. Hosted by Georgia Tech at ATDC, Michael mentors and advises over 40 startups in Atlanta. He continues to be actively involved in both healthcare and marketing technology and will be speaking at Healthbox studio in October on healthcare marketing topics.

Janet: 01:14 Now let’s jump into our conversation, a Facebook, so needed for marketing yet such a challenge to manage for healthcare. Today I’m speaking with healthcare marketing and technology expert, Michael Sengbusch about Facebook tracking and CRM on Get Social Health.

Announcer: 01:37 Welcome to Get Social Health, a conversation about social media and how it’s being used to help hospitals, social practices, healthcare practitioners and patients connect and engage via social media. Get Social Health, brings you conversations with professionals, actively working in the field and provides real-life examples of healthcare, social media in action. Here is your host, Janet Kennedy on Get Social Health.

Janet: 02:05 I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people in my field, but occasionally I run across someone who we should have crossed paths ages ago. I don’t know how I haven’t met or talked to Michael Sengbusch. Yes, but the day is my day. I’m really excited about it. Michael is currently serving as the Influence Health senior VP and GM of Consumer Experience. Michael has established credibility through the healthcare industry as a thought leader in digital healthcare marketing and with expertise in leveraging Facebook as a successful patient acquisition channel. I know my listeners are going to be really excited about how that works. Welcome to Get Social Health, Michael.

Michael: 02:48 Thanks for having me today.

Janet: 02:49 All right. I want to jump right to how does Facebook bring patients in, but I think we need to set a few background stories here to get people up. Speed. So first off, do you mind sharing a little bit about your background and how you got into healthcare and social media?

Michael: 03:07 That’s actually kind of an interesting story. So my background is in technology and in computer science, so I’ve been kind of trained and spent the first half of my career as a software developer as an engineer and it kind of took that path and got more into product development and then sales and startups. And then I was at a startup. I was one of the early members of a company called bright whistle and we were doing digital marketing technology and we were exploring different spaces and we kind of stumbled upon a gap in a healthcare marketing technologies, particularly in the provider space with hospitals and so I don’t think when we started that we decided to go attack healthcare marketing for healthcare providers, but we did kind of stumble into that based on some connections that we hadn’t realized that it was an underserved area.

Michael: 03:56 There was a lot of opportunity there and we decided to just go heads down and work on digital marketing for healthcare providers and health systems across the country and that’s what was created as Bright Whistle which was acquired about two and a half years ago by Influence Health and I’ve stuck around here for the last couple of years and helped integrate those platforms together and it’s really kind of a grown from there.

Janet: 04:20 No, that’s exciting. You actually survived an acquisition and ended up coming out on top, so congratulations to you. Tell me a little bit about the award that you won in 2014 at Bright Whistle.

Michael: 04:32 One of the early things that we were doing was experimenting with Social Media Marketing and if you go back to 2000, 10, 2011, social media was new and social media marketing was extremely new and in healthcare it was bleeding edge if not unheard of. And so while we were doing a lot of search marketing and social marketing for, for health systems and hospitals, we were bringing that to the table and one of the reasons why we were able to do that kind of so early was we were one of the early companies that was building software and technology on top of the Facebook marketing API and when we worked with Facebook early on, the different marketing partners that they accepted in program all really had to have something unique and different about them. So you know, what were you going to bring to the table? Now some of these companies brought scale. They brought big advertisers, big dollars. We brought healthcare and that was just kind of a weird. It was, it was kind of weird for Facebook at the time. What are you guys doing in healthcare? That seems a little, it seems odd.

Michael: 05:34 but that seems interesting because we know it’s important. So we didn’t represent a huge market share as it relates to marketing. We didn’t drive a whole ton of advertising, but we brought a really interesting story to the table. So working really closely with Facebook to do marketing a technology. We participated in the 2014 Facebook innovation competition and that brings all the Facebook marketing partners together. People submit different case studies and applications from all across the globe. So there’s thousands of Facebook marketing partners, and we were awarded the winner and in our category and we were able to win that for some of the really interesting marketing group doing it Facebook, but more importantly, not just the marketing, but what we were doing with the data and how we were actually measuring the results of those marketing campaigns. So, we won that by actually using Facebook targeting Facebook marketing and then tying that to a healthcare CRM to figure out attribution and figure out what type of marketing campaigns actually generated results in a clinical setting.

Janet: 06:42 So that’s really, really exciting. Now, is that still an operation? Is that part of the Influence Health program?

Michael: 06:48 Yeah, that was actually the beginning stages of what we would call kind of our next generation CRM solution and CRM and healthcare has been something that’s been changing a lot over the last few years and one of the key components to any kind of CRM system is being able to use that not just for the outbound targeting but also that consumer experience which happens after somebody responded to a marketing campaign. So how do I learn more about that person, how do I personalize that information and then how do I use the data that I have in the CRM system, clinical information, claims information, diagnosis information in order to learn more about how that person made the healthcare decision that they made and then which channels can I better communicate to them through that?

Michael: 07:34 So that was kind of the early stages of what we call a healthcare CRM and that makes up a big portion of what we do here at Influence Health.

Janet: 07:42 Well, I do want to ask you a question about CRM and crossover. So when you talk about CRM, you literally are talking about patient information, not a marketing database or the email lists that’s used by the marketing team to send out the newsletter for the hospital.

Michael: 08:00 Yeah, I think those start to bleed together. So in a sense, depending on who you’re talking about, sometimes it could be two different things and sometimes it is the same thing and that’s kind of where I think you’ve seen marketing bleed into what you would call, you know, either CRM or into data to analytics to population health, customer service, patient satisfaction. All those things start to come together. The more you centralize that data source.

Janet: 08:27 Although I am confused or concerned at what point does a patient’s HIPAA information become a problem? I know you’re obviously not looking at individual patient records and you don’t have access at that level, but at what point is it reasonable to assume that if I am a patient of a particular hospital and you have this information about me that you have tied together, the fact that I like your Facebook page and I click on these links, is that what you’re saying you’re able to do?

Michael: 08:59 It’s a little bit more decoupled than that. So we do deal with a clinical information and patient records and that makes kind of the bulk of a healthcare CRM. So a healthcare CRM is really a combination of the clinical record combined with demographic and socioeconomic information. We use that information to run analytics, to do outbound campaigns, to pull an email list.

Michael: 09:21 That’s a very simple example when it comes to the Facebook side of things. What we’re using is the native Facebook targeting capabilities and then we are using the conversions that we’re getting through a target audience that we maybe have identified inside the Facebook and any conversions that happened through that. Whether it’s somebody making a phone call, you know, maybe somebody’s talking to a call center, somebody filling out a form or registering for an event. That information does make its way into the healthcare CRM database and that can be used for marketing standpoint, in which case none of the PHI has revealed or it can be used from an analytic standpoint in which case you mind into the clinical data to look at things like procedure codes and diagnosis codes and contribution margins and that type of more detailed clinical information.

Janet: 10:10 I didn’t even realize that this magical ability to combine social data and patient information actually existed.

Janet: 10:20 So for instance, with your tool, you can create an advertising campaign on Facebook and say, I want to target prediabetic diabetes patients and I know I need to be including these kinds of demographics. Or is that an oversimplification?

Michael: 10:40 Facebook opens up literally thousands of different demographic and socioeconomic targeting attributes directly in Facebook. So that’s probably something that anybody who’s new to Facebook marketing probably doesn’t understand about how Facebook actually makes money. I think most people think about Facebook marketing to in terms of I’m going to go after my fan base, you know, and targeting your fans is what we would call organic social and you have a relationship with your fans and that’s a way in which you can communicate to them, I would say kind of the first generation of Facebook. That’s kind of what people did, right? That was kind of the standard way to do any type of marketing.

Michael: 11:22 There’s a lot of limitations to that. Couple ones are your fan base is limited. I’m your fan base is not necessarily made up of people that you want to market to. Especially with the health system. You’ll find that a lot of people who are fans of a health systems Facebook page aren’t usually patients. A lot of times their friends and family of people who work there, so it’s not really a great targeting pool. So then it opens up the rest of kind of Facebook marketing and what people don’t usually understand about how Facebook actually makes money and how they sell ad space to marketers is Facebook is buying, you know, millions upon millions of consumer records. So Facebook will partner with folks like Experian data logics, Axiom, Bluekai, who are the same type of consumer companies that you use to do any type of consumer analysis, right? Wherever you could do direct mail or, or whatever. Facebook buys all that data and then they match it to your record inside of Facebook. they do a cross reference and they make all of those hundreds and hundreds of attributes available back to marketers who are doing marketing. And that’s how you get access to things like demographic, socioeconomic, income, education, ethnicity, all those types of targeting parameters become available via Facebook, through their acquisition of third-party consumer data.

Janet: 12:43 Okay. I have actually purchased ads on behalf of some healthcare clients and we’re doing things generally with demography, but more targeting who likes this page, who likes this association, who has an interest in this, a healthcare organization or this health issue. So, because I’m usually with my clients doing B to b business to business tracking. But what you’re saying is the hospital could be actually looking for patient profiles in.

Michael: 13:18 Yeah and the best analogy for that is healthcare CRM has existed for healthcare for probably the last seven, eight, nine years. Those types of marketing databases, the same type of queries that you would run on those, you can find good substitutes for those just querying directly into Facebook. So that’s a real easy way to open up Facebook audiences to be much bigger than just your fan base. You know, Facebook really about four years ago, five years ago, really turned their ecosystem into a pay for play kind of environment where there was not a lot of free marketing left inside of Facebook. You had to go pay, you had to run ads. It was inserting suggested content in newsfeed posts and sponsored stories directly into the newsfeed, was the way in which to actually reach your audience that you wanted to get to. so from a healthcare standpoint, that opens up a couple things.

Michael: 14:12 The first thing that opens up is it’s the largest audience that you can reach at any given point in time, online period, end of story, right? So if you had to pick one channel, if you are going to focus your dollars on Facebook’s going to be the channel that you’re going to want to spend those dollars. It’s the largest and most engaged audience that you can find online. Certainly in North America. And you can spend $5. Yeah. And it’s very cost effective where if you try to compare that to what you might do in Google, so the Google would be the other primary paid channel. Google is also highly effective and most health systems are very familiar with how to do Google ad words into how to use google to identify and capture demand. The thing with healthcare in Google though is that it can be very expensive because medical related keywords and Google can have a pretty high price tag, so highly effective, but it could be less efficient with your marketing dollars because it can be very expensive.

Michael: 15:13 Facebook has a wider reach and a more engaged audience, so that was the first part. Second part is that it also opens up mobile where most of the traffic that you’re going to see on Facebook is mobile. If you’re going to do a mobile first web strategy, you should have a mobile first marketing strategy and for us we think that that’s a Facebook strategy. I think the stat is something like one out of every five minutes spent on a mobile device is spent within Facebook, which is just an insane number. Very embarrassing for me to admit that that’s true. I get to say I do this for a living, so I have a reason to keep opening Facebook. Exactly, and it cuts across. You know, if you’re, if you’re going to go mobile, right? If, if, if that’s your strategy. The reason why I think it’s effective is I think mobile’s the one medium that kind of cuts across demographic and socioeconomic boundaries where you know, mobile, you can reach a urban audience in a rural audience, you can reach an older and a younger population.

Michael: 16:11 You can reach a affluent and a middleclass and a poor population. Everybody has a smartphone, and this wasn’t true five years ago, six years ago, but now the numbers are astounding about where people choose to use their dollars and that first purchase really from a technology standpoint, is to have a smartphone where that, you know, that technology barrier they used to talk about was, you know, there’s homes in households that couldn’t afford a computer, you know, and that’s still true, but they can afford a smartphone and you really capture everybody in that medium and Facebook is the way to do it. So Facebook’s the way you’re actually going to have the paid channel to go open up that audience on mobile. So that’s the other reason. In addition to the targeting capabilities, which I mentioned earlier, when you talk about doing Facebook marketing and advertising, obviously I assume you you’re working with the marketing channel, but do you find the clinical side of the house is interested in this data as well?

Michael: 17:10 I think the clinical side of the house is more interested in understanding the data, less about the marketing. What I hear when we talk to marketing departments is the difference between the clinical folks, the marketing folks, the population health financial folks. I think the thing that they all have in common is they all want to see some type of results and they want to see some type of measurement. That’s where I really like to focus on the data side of it and that’s why the CRM side of things is, is pretty interesting. Social for me starts to become kind of that second pillar of a two pronged kind of paid digital strategy and I think everybody is comfortable with using social as a channel just for engagement but also for acquisition and that wasn’t always the case when we were doing this kind of five or six years ago.

Michael: 17:55 We got a lot of blank stares around how we were going to use that channel. I’m not just for communication but also for for acquisition. I think everybody’s really comfortable with that now to the point where they actually expect it and I think the users have come to expect it as well and health systems have caught up to the point where they’re very comfortable working in that medium where it was. That wasn’t the case three or four or five years ago.

Janet: 18:21 What would you say healthcare is still uncomfortable with?

Michael: 18:25 That’s a good question. I have this discussion a lot with marketing departments in. It’s usually the difference between what I call, you know, HIPAA and PHI versus their privacy policy and I think these two things get conflated quite a bit in the healthcare marketing environment where what is usually a limitation of a privacy policy is kinda confused with legal guidelines and recommendations under HIPAA because they’re two totally different things.

Michael: 18:55 Right? So how you choose to communicate to a patient or prospective patient is usually covered under a privacy policy and what you see for most health systems and a privacy policy are very old, very antiquated privacy policies that were put together by an overly conservative compliance and legal department and those type of rules and restrictions usually have to deal with. If somebody has given me their information online or through the patient portal or through a form or from an inquiry, what am I limited in doing with that information and that has nothing to do with HIPAA. That has to do with the privacy policy and the website says, if you fill out some information here, we’re not going to use it for marketing. Well, plenty of health systems have more liberal policies and their privacy policies, which then gives them the ability to do standard type marketing communication such as send me an email, but respect if I opt out, you can communicate to me in many different channels, but respect if I opt out or tune out that message.

Michael: 20:03 Those things are applicable and available depending on the privacy policy. All that says is if a patient is providing information, how do you treat that information? Do you keep it secure, then mitigate risk, how do you choose to use that information based on what they’ve authorized you to use it for? So it’s usually two different things and I talked to kind of compliance departments and marketing teams about understanding the difference and what necessarily is legal versus what is allowed under your own guidelines.

Janet: 20:39 Okay. So in the Facebook world, and if I am a small business or even a healthcare organization, I have an email list of marketing email list. I can upload the email addresses only, no other information whatsoever. Facebook will try to match them and they’ll say, oh, guess what? We found about a third of your patients or customers we have now matched and we’ve created this magical file that we have tagged who your customers are. We now are going to destroy your email list. We don’t keep it, we don’t use it, we promise, we promise, and then you, you, you can use that to build your own custom audience. And then you can tell Facebook, okay, now find people who look like my people but who are not my people. Sounds great. But somewhere along the line, because this is patient information, is there an approval process necessary?

Michael: 21:34 Yeah. And that again goes back to your privacy policy. So a couple things on the process that you just walked through which is in line with what we’ve, what we do with some health systems. If their privacy policy and their compliance officers approve it. So a couple things on that. First thing is you never send an email address to Facebook. So that’s kind of a misconception is the email just never gets to Facebook. On our own servers, we do what’s called a hash encryption and that information is sent to Facebook, so the email address has never sent and the information that you send to Facebook can never be unhappy, so it’s completely like a one-way encryption essentially of that information. So because of that, there’s absolutely no way to ever have a breach. Would that information and the HIPAA and privacy guidelines, the intent of them is to mitigate risks, risk to make sure that you don’t have some type of inexperience or an Equifax breach and there’s absolutely no way in the protocol that’s used to send that information to Facebook that you could ever have a breach.

Michael: 22:35 So that’s the first thing. The second thing is when they do identify those people, they never tell you what people are actually identified. So if you send a thousand people that’s been hashed information, Facebook, they matched 700 of them. You never actually know which 700 and neither does Facebook. So it sits in a way in which it’s a one-way mapping which can never be downloaded or breached or have any type of intelligence about who that person is. So that scenario, we’ve worked with many kinds of compliance departments and legal folks at health systems and that’s usually sufficient once you walk through that and explain to them how it works, they’re cool. In fact, what I find, what happens more often is people use the same email addresses and they’re sending them to Mailchimp or constant contact or other far less secure places than sending it to Facebook.

Janet: 23:28 Okay. I’m glad you said all of that because that was obviously the one disconnect that I needed to have clarified and that little five minutes is now going to be the piece I share with everyone because I have talked to lawyers about it and they do fall back to the privacy policy, but for most part they’re not really aware of the ins and outs of how data a gets to a location b. all right. So I feel really good about that. So I’m going to encourage a lot of people to consider doing that. but tell me about where you want to take all this fascinating data and intelligence. Are you doing anything with data visualization and, and looking at a bigger picture about trends about how people are, are using a Facebook and, and is that actually triggering visits to a healthcare provider?

Michael: 24:20 Yeah. So I think as it relates specifically to Facebook, I’m a couple of years ago when I would talk about Facebook, I kind of changed how we frame Facebook. So it used to be kind of framed as hey are you doing social media marketing? And then a couple of years ago I kinda changed our approach and that kind of stopped calling it social media marketing and just lumped it in with digital marketing because it’s less about the social side of it and more about this is just the dominant place to reach people online. And the fact that it happens to be social in nature is kind of besides the point now where, you know, Facebook is. I mean it hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s been around for over 10 years, continues to grow their numbers, look, continue to look strong. Their revenue numbers are strong.

Michael: 25:09 Other competition that comes up like an Instagram, they buy Instagram, Snapchat comes up and they just replicate all of Snapchat’s features. So they buy Whatsapp, you know, they create messenger so they’re kind of here to stay. So it’s Kinda like, you know, rather than saying, do, do you do search marketing? It’s like it’s google, you know, google is kind of like Google one, right? Facebook kind of one this side of it. And when it comes to digital ad spend, there’s two dominant players. It’s Google and then Facebook and everybody else behind that are niche players at best when it comes to the ad dollars that they consume. So it’s really less than it being social because there’s lots of cool social things about it. And almost anything you do online today has some type of a social component, right? Is plugged into some type of a social graph.

Michael: 26:07 It has some type of engagement or commentary or some network effects in place. So everything’s kind of social. So treating Facebook as a social media marketing I think is kind of besides the point, and I think of it as I have a limited number of channels that I can go out to with my limited marketing dollars because we deal with health systems and in the grand scheme of things, health system is still kind of a small business when it comes to the amount of marketing dollars that they spend. You know it’s not IBM. It’s not Coca-Cola, you know they don’t. They don’t have a ton of money and so you have to be really careful about what channels you use because your marketing dollars are limited and you want to make sure that they’re going to the most efficient channels. And to me, the top two are going to be Google and Facebook and everything else. You have to make a really strong case to want to spend money in those channels after you’ve saturated Google and Facebook.

Janet: 27:02 When you work with clients, you’re coming in because you have a lot of answers and capabilities in the digital space and the online space. But the way I hear you’re talking, I’m hearing that while there shouldn’t be social media marketing or digital marketing, now I’m wondering is, is it all just marketing now and at what point are we going to stop having a digital online budget and a traditional budget and it’s all just one budget?

Michael: 27:31 That’s exactly the way people should be thinking about it. And I think what I’ve learned from doing this over the last six or seven years is people used to ask, you know, they would say, well, what channel is better or what’s better should I use this or that? And what I’ve learned is, you know, it depends, you know, different service lines have different calls to action, different, goals. And you know, running an orthopedic campaign is a lot different than running a pediatrics campaign or a breast cancer awareness campaign. You know, we’re running a bariatric surgery, campaign and all those things have different nuances about who’s the audience, how do you want to engage them, where do they respond, what are the costs in the individual channels that you could use? And I think they’re all kind of different and you do them enough and you start to figure out that there’s a different combination that works and all those combinations of channels and budget levels are really just kind of starting points and then you figure out what’s working in that individual market for that specific health system and then you go from there.

Michael: 28:34 So I think that’s a long way of saying, yeah, it should be treated as all one budget and then you figure out what’s my most efficient allocation that are the channels that are going to drive the best results. And then you go from there. I don’t think it’s one hard fast rule about what you should use or shouldn’t use, let alone do I carve out different budgets for your digital versus offline. I think it should all be looked at together and then you make a decision based on what you believe is gonna be the most efficient allocation.

Janet: 29:02 Now one of the things I’m hearing from you is really an evangelism for understanding the holistic role of marketing and of digital in the whole. And I understand that in the sense you are a thought leader and you’re going out to share this evangelism, you’re really on a speaking tour, are hitting a lot of conferences. So where are you going to be going in the next few months to tell people about, these new ideas.

Michael: 29:31 Thanks for mentioning that. I try to stay engaged with the healthcare marketing community as best I can. We were at SHSMD a couple of weeks ago and coming up here October 23rd through the 25th is going to be HCIC healthcare Internet conference that’s going to be an Austin, Texas and I’ll be doing a panel discussion there, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s going to be on the role of healthcare CRM and what does that mean moving forward. And like I was saying before, you know, CRM is a big piece of what I’ve been working on recently and marketing is a huge component to a, to a CRM system. So if anybody is going to be in Austin, Texas, October 23rd to 24th will be at the HCIC, a healthcare Internet conference that center since it’s, since we brought it up that they actually, the health care conference I think has always been the best, for the customers and for the industries and the products that I work with lately.

Michael: 30:34 I think it’s always the right mix of people. It’s not too big. It’s not too small. Always has a pretty good sense of what is trying to accomplish. The speakers are usually pretty good at the conference is not too long and again, it’s not too short. so hci is coming up and then also in 2018 I will be speaking at HIMSS this year and looking forward to that hymns. For anybody who’s not aware is enough. That’s going to be March fifth through March ninth in Las Vegas and I’ll be doing a speaking session there with Christus health. Christus health is a health system in Texas, actually much larger than that, but their headquarters in Texas. And we’re going to be talking about how to leverage healthcare CRM beyond marketing and since we’re talking primarily about kind of social and social media marketing on this call today on this podcast, I really start to see marketing bleed into a lot of different areas and marketing I think has got a lot of attention over the last five years in healthcare, but I think they’re taking on more and more responsibilities and various departments are starting to kind of bleed together.

Michael: 31:50 Is it a patient satisfaction? Is it customer service? Is it population health? All of these things start to converge and marketing’s, they’re converging with it as, as well. with how do you actually manage a patient population? How do I communicate with the community? How do I know more about my healthcare consumers so that I can better not just better market to them, but then how can I better engage with them once they come in to the health system. And that’s something that healthcare, particularly the healthcare providers are learning how to do. And as compared to other industries, they’re really not very good at it, you know, and they’re, they’re getting a lot better.

Janet: 32:26 Well, let me ask you to put your prognosticators hat on and as you are a little bit on cutting edge here, when we talk about CRM and things happening in the digital space, what you see as big changes coming down the pike, either that we can avoid the, might as well embrace it or that really could be game changers from a standpoint of healthcare marketing and slash or social media.

Michael: 32:52 Let me touch on the last point there first. So as it relates to healthcare and social media, first of all, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. I think after four years or five years of Facebook, people are like, oh, is this a fad? Is this going to be my space? Or something like that. Nope. Facebook one, it’s dominant. It’s a platform for the next 15 to 20 years. Easily. Facebook is not going anywhere. Twitter’s kind of a dud when it comes to marketing. So I was really positive on Twitter about two or three years ago and have not seen any of the campaigns that we’ve run in Twitter, provide a meaningful challenge to what we’re seeing in Facebook or google. So I think Twitter is kind of missed the boat when it comes to a paid marketing channel. Like I said before, Instagram is part of Facebook and I see a lot of great things in Instagram.

Michael: 33:43 So Facebook makes it pretty easy to extend your marketing campaigns into Instagram now. So I think that’s big. Snapchat I think is you’re kind of number three player in the social space. I dunno if it’s great for health systems yet they haven’t really figured out how to turn it into a direct response or a conversion channel. It’s more for brands, you know. So it’s getting big branding dollars from national and international advertisers don’t see it being a big channel for, for health systems yet. I’m one of the channels I’m more interested in from a marketing side is actually next door. So I don’t know if any of the listeners have used next door. Next door is a neighborhood social network and as far as an ideal audience for health systems, I think next door could be really interesting, so that’s something to be on the lookout for.

Janet: 34:33 I actually joined my organization that I’ve been living in my neighborhood for 15 years and next door has been around actually for quite a while, but I finally bit the bullet and joined I know six or eight months ago and I now actually no my neighbors all days. You take cookies next door you’d meet, people know everybody stays inside, but I feel like I know them virtually through next door and the amount of recommendations and or questions for services is amazing. Plus people give away a lot of great free stuff.

Michael: 35:06 Yup, Yup. It’s highly trusted. They’re starting to open up from a marketing standpoint, I think it’s to be determined how health systems could use it, but it seems a natural fit for community interaction for a health system, for a physician practice, for an urgent care to be nearby. Highly, highly relevant. I think for healthcare, I don’t know if it’s going to pay dividends from a marketing standpoint, but I would keep my eye on that. When it comes to kind of new and innovative things to look out for kind of coming up in the kind of the healthcare or the marketing technology space, I’ve had this question a lot and it’s not a really sexy, interesting answer. It’s really actually kind of boring if I think it’s things like call center. So the front lines of patient communication is who answers the phone when somebody responds to a marketing campaign, it’s kind of an overlooked but really critical thing that health systems do really poorly and as they get marketing sorted out, whether it’s search or social or digital or offline or email or direct mail, they’re getting those things figured out and they have their own problems and that’s getting sorted out. But the problem that persists is, hey, that’s great. You did a great marketing campaign. What happens when the person signs up for something or when they make a phone call? It’s a highly broken process from an operational standpoint, which requires a lot of technology to integrate to things like scheduling a two callbacks to follow-ups and that all connects directly to marketing if you ever want to figure out what’s happening.

Michael: 36:45 So it’s not a very interesting kind of, you know, high tech answer. It’s kind of fixed the call center.

Janet: 36:50 Well, and that’s the challenge, right? Nobody wants to work on the boring everyday stuff. They all work on the sexy new things, but I understand your title is a Senior VP and GM of Consumer Experience. That’s unique. Yeah, and I think you’re going to see that trend a lot. Even in health marketing. Our marketing teams are moving away from the marketing term and it’s kind of becoming more a patient experience. Consumer experience. When I talk and when I do, I’m a collateral or presentations. I tend to downplay words like patient because I think in healthcare now I think patient implies somebody’s sick and so much of what we’re doing is about wellness and preventative and being involved and taking care of your health and if you’re taking care of your health, I don’t think you’re a patient.

Michael: 37:40 Right. And then things when it comes to, you know, terms like acquisition rather than acquisition, things like experience where the health system is now trying to engage with the community to be able to influence the healthcare decisions that they’re making. And that crosses a wide gamut of is it preventative, is it wellness, is it child care, is it pediatricians or is what we normally think of kind of acute care, right? I’m hurt, I’m sick, I need to go to the doctor. So I think you’re seeing a lot of terminology change there and that’s happening because health systems are, are growing in their responsibilities and also that’s why you see marketing kind of bleeding into other groups and it’s becoming more about consumer healthcare, consumer experience rather than particularly how do we treat or find sick patients?

Janet: 38:31 Well, everything you’re saying is so exciting because it sounds, if not easy, doable.

Speaker 3: 38:38 Yeah. I think a lot of this stuff is pretty like I said, I think marketing’s been getting better. it’s come light years in the last four or five years. I think now they’re struggling with data and making sense of the data because there’s a lot of data from a lot of different disparate systems within the health system and then how do I actually close that middle layer? Some of it is kind of basic blocking and tackling and it’s kind of the boring stuff sometimes. But you know, a lot of successful companies, a lot of successful people got that way by solving kind of the boring problems, ones that no one else wants to tackle.

Janet: 39:14 Exactly. And make them seem fun on the front end because they weren’t focused on user experience.

Michael: 39:20 If you had asked me 20 years ago if I was going to be doing healthcare marketing and talking about a healthcare call center, I would’ve told you you’re crazy, but there’s a lot of stuff that you can do there. And I think it’s a hugely kind of overlooked, a niche in the industry and I’ve been happy to be a part of it over the last six or seven years. Well, that is exciting and I look forward to reading your posts and social and following your talks at coming up events. I think you’ve got a really great solution and I expect even better things coming from you all in 2018 and forward.

Michael: 39:51 Well, thanks again, Janet. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for being here. No problem. Talk to you soon.

Announcer: 39:57 And now here’s our social media success tip.

Jeff Callaway: 40:01 Hi, this is Jeff Callaway. I’m the Senior Content Specialist at Cook Children’s Healthcare system based in Fort Worth, Texas. My advice would be to not be too PR, which sounds weird because I work in PR and I know a lot of you listening do as well, but we try very hard to write as journalistic as possible to make the stories interesting and to make what we do appointment viewing and to create a trust with our audience that when they read it, it’s going to be real and accurate journalism.

Announcer: 40:34 You’ve been listening to the Get Social Health podcast. The show notes are [email protected] To join our healthcare social media journey, follow at, Get Social Health on Twitter and start a conversation.

Janet: 40:50 Thanks for listening to the Get Social Health podcast, a production of the healthcare marketing network, and a proud member of the healthcare podcasters community.

Janet: 40:58 I like to take a moment to tell you a bit about the healthcare marketing network. We’re a community of freelance healthcare writers. Our Organization can match your company or a healthcare practice with clinically accurate, specialized or general health care and medical content from blogs to white papers to Cmi. The healthcare marketing network has the writers that you need to reach your business audience or patients to find out more, visit healthcare marketing, or contact me via social media, or you can email me, [email protected]. Thanks again for listening to the Get Social Health podcast.

Jim Higgins – Intelligent Patient Communication

Today’s conversation is with Jim Higgins, the CEO of Solutionreach. We were introduced by Lea Chatham,  a healthcare writer and editor and the Director of Content Marketing for Solutionreach. Knowing my interested in healthcare communications, Lea suggested I speak with Jim about their platform and the need physicians practices have for intelligent patient communications.

I’m happy to be back behind the microphone after a hiatus to focus on building the Healthcare Marketing Network with my business partner Carol Bush. We’ll be covering what’s happening with our company in an upcoming episode.

Listen to the episode:

00:56 Intro: Meet Jim Higgins, CEO of Solutionreach
01:41 Solutionreach launched 17 years
02:21 About the Solutionreach platform
05:18 A patient portal: yes or no?
06:51 Comparative experience with other platforms
11:01 Managing your life as a healthcare worker
14:13 Keeping up with patient communication
17:32 Is this a clinical tool or marketing tool?
20:26 The need for content curating for healthcare practices
21:57 Describing the platform layout
25:01 Patient portal usage rates
26:56 Add-on or independent platform?
29:57 Millennial communications
33:36 Patient feedback on practices
36:01 Applying it to Facebook
39:46 Encouraging
43:45 Social Media Tip, Todd Eury, The Pharmacy Podcast. Twitter & the power of the Hashtag
44:39 Closing message: Healthcare Marketing Network – connecting healthcare and medical writers to companies and practices.

Presented by Healthcare Marketing NetworkConnect with Solutionreach

If you’re interested in learning more about the Healthcare Marketing Network or the Get Social Health podcast, contact Janet Kennedy (that’s me!) at [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn.



David Harlow – Legal Questions for Healthcare Social Media

David Harlow, Lawyer, Social Media Guru, and Blogger has been a guest on the Get Social Health podcast before. Guess what? I have more questions! As a member of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network’s External Advisory Board, David graciously agreed to come back on the podcast and talk about legal question in healthcare and what has changed in social media and healthcare in the past 2 1/2 years.

Listen to the podcast or drop in at the time stamps below.

00:54  Intro: legal questions in healthcare

01:33  A Lawyer?!
04:29  Comprehending the tech
06:35  Covering the bases
07:29  Active with start-ups
07:51  You and the Mayo
08:37  Optional involvement in social media
10:31  Why the holdouts?
11:50  How do you get involved
12:56  Mayo Clinic annual conference
16:27  Personal life and HR impact
19:01  Professionalism is 24/7
22:05  Patient privacy in a crisis
26:15  When family isn’t your family
28:18  Planned vs spontaneous content
29:35  Authenticity with patients
32:15  Concerning email lists in marketing
36:55  End
38:06  Social Media Tip from Dr. Mike Sevilla
39:10  Closing: Healthcare Writers Network is available to help you!

Below are links to a number of David’s blogs, projects and social media activity:social media for healthcare

Jeff Calaway – Creating a Hospital Newsroom

Content creation is critical to an effective hospital marketing plan. On the Get Social Health podcast, I chat with Jeff Calaway about the creation of a newsroom-style PR department for Cook Children’s Hospital. By operating as a newsroom, the hospital communications team was positioned to take advantage of health-related stories in the news. To find out how listen to the podcast or drop in at the time stamps below.
00:51  Intro
01:18  About Jeff
04:09  Mobility & flexibility
07:35  Telling personal stories
10:07  Involving your staff
13:06  Evergreen vs live news
15:34  “Newsjacking?”
17:08  Timely posting on current events
20:12  Spontaneous vs oversight
24:20  Physicians who produce social content
27:19  Accuracy vs accessibility
28:32  End
29:18  Social Media Tip Mari Smith
30:01  Closing

Connect with Jeff:


The Cook Children’s Marketing & PR Team

  • Justin Smith, Medical Advisor for Digital Health/Primary Care Innovator, Twitter: @TheDocSmitty
  • Wini King, AVP, Public Relations, Twitter: @PRKing1210
  • Missy Staben, Manager of Digital Communications, @Missy Staben
  • Kim Brown, Media Relations Specialist, Twitter: @KimatCook
  • Abigail Hodgson, Social Media Specialist, Twitter: flabigaill

The story doing well in India:

India is their third biggest country in audience readership behind U.S. and U.K. The story now has more than 10k views since it was published in June 2015. It has more than 140,000 total views.

Our Selena Gomez Trilogy:

7 Questions Answered about a Kidney Transplant Surgery

8 facts about lupus

13 Reasons Why You Should Be Concerned Your Child May Attempt Suicide

Jess Columbo – Mistakes from a Billion Dollar Launch

They say that we learn by our mistakes but wouldn’t we rather learn by other’s mistakes? Jess Columbo of MedEd Digital joins the podcast to share her tips on “How NOT to launch the biggest social campaign of your career: Lessons from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute $1 Billion Challenge.” That’s also the topic of her presentation at the Annual Conference of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. The Annual Conference will be held on the Mayo campus in Scottsdale, Arizona on December 11-12, 2017.

Jess brings more than a decade of experience developing award-winning digital media strategies for clients in regulated industries. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and teaches part-time at Portland State University’s Center for Executive and Professional Education.

Listen to the podcast or drop in at the time stamps below:

00:56 Intro

02:21 About Jess

05:02 Why go it alone?

05:58 Médecins Sans Social Media

06:51 Are they trying to social?

07:54 How Jess became a keynote

09:12 Dan Hinman shout out

10:12 How not to launch…

12:22 Bringing them up to speed

13:53 About those haters…

14:35 Apologizing on social media

16:10 “Fighter,” a misnomer

17:55 Support and investment

18:30 What did work?

19:46 Watchdogs

Ignite presentation21:20 Work at Meded Digital

23:01 Balancing sales with communication

25:27 Updating outmoded professionals

27:09 Pharma and social media

28:32 Ignite movement

32:01 Mayo Clinic Social Media Network Annual Conference

34:36 Changing mindsets regarding social media

36:06 End

36:31 Social Media Tip: Darla Brown

37:30 Closing

Find Jess




Jess’s Ignite Talk

More about the Mayo Clinic Social Media Annual Conference:

Join us for two days packed with four inspirational keynotes, six compelling case studies and presentations, three expert consultation sessions, and an evening taco reception complete with mariachi band!

You don’t need to belong to the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network to attend. Your registration includes a full year membership in the Network.

Registration for the Annual ConferenceSocial Media Residency or the combined bundle includes a one-year premium membership and access to the Social for Healthcare Certificate from Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite.

We’re capping attendance at 125 so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to contribute, interact, and connect with your peers. You’ll leave energized with more knowledge and enthusiasm to tackle, analyze, and solve the biggest social media problems you face today.

You may want to join us on December 13 for our Social Media Residency, too!