I have a confession: I love podcasts. I would choose listening to a podcast over listening to music or watching TV any day. I enjoy them so much because they are interesting, provide me with new information, and I have to admit, I like being able to multitask while listening.
The podcasts I subscribe to have topics ranging from politics to world news to comedy to science to healthcare, and all are different but equally fascinating.
If you’re not sure what a podcast is, it’s an audio media file that is typically released on a regular basis and can be downloaded through an online subscription service, such as iTunes. They can be produced by anyone with a recording device and a little bit of technology know-how, including your hospital.
So is a podcast a good idea for your hospital? I’ve compiled five reasons so you can tell for yourself.
A podcast is an educational tool
Just like a blog, a podcast is an opportunity for your hospital to share current medical information or news to your patients, from prenatal to immunizations to surgery to joint replacement, there is always the opportunity to educate your patients. You can choose to dedicate your podcast to a specific department, always rotating who participates, or you can choose to open up your podcast to include general health care topics. Just be sure to keep in mind what your patients want.
A podcast is easy to produce
Unlike a video, a podcast is solely audio, and therefore easy to produce. You don’t need a fancy camera, just someone to interview, a recording device, a quiet room and someone who knows how to edit and upload it.
A podcast can be as short or as long as you want
The great thing about a podcast is that it doesn’t have to fit into a specific time frame. I subscribe to podcasts that range from 10 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the topic being covered. To determine how long yours should be, consider the goal you want to achieve, the topic you are covering, and your audience.
It’s convenient for your patients
I listen to podcasts on my daily walk, and whenever I am in the car, so I appreciate the ability to download podcasts directly to my iPhone. With a podcast you can take advantage of similar opportunities in your patients’ lives by making your podcast available for download. For example, you can provide a subscription to your podcast through iTunes, your hospital’s website, or even an app that your hospital has developed. It seems that we Americans are busier than ever, and convenience is key.
Anyone can participate
What I love about podcasts is the diversity of people and topics, and your hospital’s podcast can be the same. If you have a camera shy physician who you just can’t wait to interview about a new medical breakthrough or service at your hospital, a podcast may be a happy medium. You can even invite patients to join in on your podcast without taking too much of your time. The key is to determine who would provide an effective interview and let your imagination run wild!
I strongly encourage you to consider adding podcasts to your hospital’s social media strategy. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of podcasts you can check out, all of which are available for free on iTunes.
How we help
Hive Strategies helps hospitals engage patients through social media. We don’t manage social media. Instead, we help hospitals develop an effective social media strategy and mentor them through the implementation process. Read about our services. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.