Communications Strategy For A Social Media World


Healthcare_vox Fard Johnmar, Healtcare Vox, pulls no punches in his new Free eBook, Envision Solutions E-book: From Command & Control To Engage & Encourage: A New Healthcare Communications Strategy For A Social Media World. He kicks off his theories with a powerful statement.

The healthcare industry will have no choice but to engage and develop social media if it is interested in helping people find accurate and helpful information online.

Although there has been some dabbling into blogs, podcast and vlogs the healthcare industry, as a whole, as been reluctant to take the big leap into social media. Fard explains that part of the hesitation is a reflection a culture of tightly control of information.

In industries such as pharmaceutical and biotech and hospitals which are all heavily regulated it is understandable that offering an open commincation forum may appear like a walk on the wild side. However, healthcare  providers that have entered into this world understand that providing an open dialogue is critical in educating consumers of healthcare.

From Command & Control To Engage & Encourage examines two models of communication strategy. The traditional Command and Control where information is carefully crafted and messages are spoon fed to the media and other stakeholders in a more or less 'pure' form. Although this model may appear to increase the odds that what is communicated = what people actually hear, in the social media world, it no longer works. Consumers of healthcare are online searching, talking and exchanging opinions about healthcare products and services.

I agree with Fard'd position that it is fool hearty for healthcare organizations to bury their heads in the sands of denial. As in other industries, ranging from technology to packaged goods to services, no company controls their messaging or the brand experience. The internet changed the rules of the game. Dr_kildareWe're not in Dr. Kildare's world of the 1960's! The sooner healthcare providers shake off the grains of sand the sooner they can begin to use social media as a competitive advantage to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Fard offers a solution in a social media communications model he calls Engage & Encourage

Engage & Encourage - A New Media Communication Strategy

Phase I - Engage
Aggressively working with influential developers of social media to encourage them to talk about healthcare issues, products/service

  • Conduct research to identify influential social media
  • Monitor the conversation

Phase II  - Encourage

  • Collaborating with social media to encourage the accurate transmission of healthcare messages
  • Producing social media that will help enrich and expand online healthcare dialog

Stage I - Research Social Media & Develop Messages

Stage II - Engage Traditional and Social Media

  • Advertising on blogs, podcasts,wikis, bulletin boars
  • Public/social media relations - developing messages to journalists and creators of social media and encouraging them to tell your story
  • Posting Multimedia on a Video Sharing Website

Stage III - Social & Traditional Media Deliver Messages

  • Monitor mentions

Stage IV - Encourage Accuracy & Dialog

  • Develop your own social media e.g., blog, podcast, vlog, discussion board to help shape the dialog

Stage V - Measure Audience Response

  • Media coverage, advertising reach, audience response

In addition Fard encourages healthcare organizations to get into the game by producing their own blogs, podcast, videos, wikis an/or message boards.

The eBook is an easy read and offers tips on how to begin the development of a social media communication strategy. Although written for the healthcare industry the concepts are applicable to any industry. The end quote brings it home.

Remember, we may live in a new world, but the old rules still apply. Powerful communications has always been about getting people to pay attention and take action. The engage and encourage strategy is just another means of achieving the same objective.

Sidebar: Fard Johnson's definition of social media - The term social media refers to a group of technologies that enable people to collaborate, interact or meet via the internet.

Sidebar: Cross posted on The Medical Blog Network


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If youve been trying to understand social media and what it can do for your communication, a new e-book by Fard Johnmar will enlighten you and help you understand the role of social media as part of an effective communication strategy. Fard, who... [Read More]

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A few weeks ago, I announced that I published an e-book, From Command Control To Engage Encourage designed to help players in the healthcare industry get a handle on social media. Ive been very happy with the resp... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 4, 2006 12:45:40 PM


I write an arts and news blog and an industrial automation blog. The arts blog gets 2000 visitors a day, the industrial automation blog: 150. But those 150 represent other companies, organizations, etc. reaching out to start an online conversation. I see the trend happening... just a few months ago, few were reaching out. -n.l.

Posted by: n.l. belardes on Sep 20, 2006 1:15:05 PM


Posted by: 16rucu on Mar 15, 2007 8:13:52 AM

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