I can now admit that when I took the stage Wednesday at the Fourth Annual Social Media Health Care Summit to talk to 250 social media professionals from throughout the United States I was scared to death.
It wasn’t the size of the crowd that frightened me. I’ve spoken to groups that size many times. It was the topic. Months ago I agreed to speak on “Health Care Reform Meets Social Media.” As I developed the talk over these months, I knew the challenges we were facing at Willamette Valley Medical Center, the hospital where I work 25 hours a week as director of marketing.
My thesis was that health care reform is going to happen not so much because of the Affordable Care Act, but because of the tremendous financial pressures forcing hospitals to change the way they deliver care. What I wasn’t sure of was whether this would resonate with everyone else in the audience. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself at a conference hosted by Mayo Clinic.
At the last minute I decided to pivot
So at the last minute I pivoted. I decided to shift from a lecture to a conversation – something I should have planned from the beginning, but was reluctant to because of the size of the group. I would lay out the framework and then ask the group what they were experiencing.
The response was, as one attendant tweeted, a resounding “Amen!” Marketers at hospitals from California to Florida to Massachusetts to North Carolina to Montana to Ohio are all facing the same thing: Financial pressures that are rocking the foundation of our health care system.
The conversation was incredibly valuable
This is a social media-savvy group, so they were tweeting throughout the hour-long speech, a total of 72 of them that mentioned my @HiveDan twitter handle. Here’s one of them:
The conversation was incredibly valuable. We talked about the brutal facts facing health care today and the skills marketers will need to survive in the health care apocalypse we’re facing. I’ll write about those skills next week.
Mayo recorded a short video after my presentation, where I summarize some key points.
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