Where the Social Media Rubber Meets the Road

flickr: Milestoned

For 21 years I’ve managed my own advertising and marketing firm. Then a year ago I launched Hive Strategies to help hospitals engage patients through social media.

That’s a lot of years advising, consulting and developing campaigns for someone else. Some would say that’s the easy way out. If what we develop or recommend for you doesn’t work out, it’s no harm to us. We move on, and you’re left holding the bag.

Well, that’s all about to change. It’s time for the rubber to meet the road, for the chickens to come home to roost and for me to put my money where my mouth is (or would that be someone else’s money?).

Director of marketing for my hometown hospital

Last week I took a part-time position as Director of Marketing for Willamette Valley Medical Center in my home town, McMinnville, Oregon.

Willamette Valley Medical Center is a member of the Capella Healthcare system, a for-profit 88-bed facility in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. And it’s one of the 4,000 US hospitals that has absolutely NO social media presence.

The job is an extremely flexible 25 hours a week, leaving me another 25 or 35 hours a week to continue managing Hive Strategies.

I simply couldn’t resist the challenge

Why take responsibility for marketing a local hospital? I simply couldn’t resist the challenge of launching a real-world digital and social media strategy while wading hip-deep through the challenges of ACOs, MCOs, core measures, HCAHPS, declining reimbursements, shifting demographics, employed physicians, healthcare reform, shrinking profit margins and all the rest.

I’ll face the same apprehensions, resistance, time pressures, overwhelming to-do lists, limited staffing, and budget restraints that you face from day to day.

This is what you do in your spare time?

So far I’m learning the fascinating world of purchase orders, requisitions, work orders, Outlook (as a life-long Macintosh lover that’s been quite the adjustment), employee parking, meetings-meetings-meetings, flu shots and diversity training.

So this is what you are all doing with your spare time? You know, people, with the exception of a few meetings, we just don’t have these things at Hive Strategies.

It’s a challenge – and a great one – that will help me do a good job for a good hospital and a better job of helping you. And I’m glad for that.


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.

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