Not only did Nick Jacobs find his muse through blogging but as the "blogging" President and CEO of Windber Medical Center he is setting the gold standard for social media strategies within the healthcare profession.
I loved Nick Jacobs' response to my request about telling his blog story, "Happy to work with you on this fishing trip." Blogger Stories is rather like a fishing trip .. never know what you'll catch!
Blogger Story Teller: Nick Jacobs or Google search name: F. Nicholas Jacobs, Nick's Blog
As President and CEO of two very unique organizations, our challenge is enormous. The hospital, a unique, urban hospital 7.5 miles away from a sophisticated tertiary center in a very geographically restricted market is almost totally dependent on the local newspaper and primary television station to tell a story that is typically lost in the advertising and PR of the neighboring, larger trauma center. Their overall annual budget is nearly a billion dollars, ours is around thirty million.
Our other non-profit corporation is a five year old, start up research institute that is NOT connected to any major deep-pocket medical school, university or large donor. When you combine these two organizations, their world lives at about an 80% plus failure rate with negative bottom lines and almost no opportunity to gain access through the traditional "good old boy" grant sources. Consequently, after trying every PR and marketing tactic, the weblog presented itself as an opportunity to get the story out internationally.
One of my best friends, a very savvy octogenarian, public relations genius, Zane Knauss, former PR director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, called me last year and asked, "Why aren't you doing a blog?" Then we called our webmaster, Mike Russell at Planet Russell and asked him if he could add pictures, do the occasional edit, and put some meat to the bones of some of our stories. He agreed, and the price was right.
The rest, as they say, is blogstory. We are celebrating our first anniversary this month, and, although it has taken a while to find our voice, we are finally getting a few thousand readers.
The blog has resulted in some very interesting and fun things, i.e., we have been invited to write for a Diva Marketing exploratory story. We were featured on our local newspaper's op ed page, and Tony Chen has invited us to write as a regular for Hospital Impact, another blog for healthcare. Bob Coffield, an attorney from West Virginia invited us to submit a blog or two to his personal blog - Healthcare Law Blog.
My very unique personal attitude toward health care change is been recognized and has been embraced by some Fortune 100 companies for speeches and lectures on "Why Healthcare Needs to Change," and, finally, most importantly, I have found my muse.
After various attempts at getting back into playing or producing music, doing pencil sketch portraiture work, and writing a book which never was published (Who Put the Hell in Healthcare?), the blog has allowed me to emote with some degree of passion while keeping my day job.
So, usually, on Sunday evenings, or whenever the bug bites, my fingers begin to tap out my latest rant or describe my newest brainstorm, and, in some cases, it allows me to let my detractors know that "I'm feeling their presence, but ignoring them once again."
For a guy who was once exempt from basic college English, one of my greatest personal accomplishments, I'm having a ball.