The Importance of Being Nimble (Part 2)

In Part 1 of The Importance of Being Nimble, I highlighted use of a consumer-grade video camera to quickly capture an interview with a Mayo Clinic researcher, and how that enabled us to get news coverage for a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

This simplified, nimble approach to gathering video has been even more helpful in gathering patient stories. Here's a sample of some highlights from the last couple of years:


The common thread in most of these video segments is that they were shot on extremely short notice on our Mayo Clinic campus, or while I was traveling.

  • I got the call about Rhonda King, who was here from the San Francisco area with her husband and son, at about 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.  They were going home the next day. An hour later I was able to interview Rhonda telling the story of getting a second opinion for her son, Trevor, at her hotel near our campus. There was no way we could have pulled together a video crew on such short notice.
  • Al Errato and his wife Mary are from Connecticut, and while we technically could have gotten a video crew to capture their story, we were able to act much more quickly by using a pocket camera on a tripod.
  • I heard from Sheila Robb through her husband, Ted. She was eager to tell the story of how a series of Mayo advances had helped her fight breast cancer long enough so she could survive to take advantage of the next advance. She finally lost her 10-year battle earlier this year, but was grateful for the difference Mayo had made for her.
  • Anne and Tony de Bari are from Michigan. He's an orthopedic surgeon, and she had just been diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer. I interviewed them the same morning I met Ted and Sheila Robb.
  • I got to interview Jayson Werth, an outfielder for the Phillies, when I was in Philadelphia, again using my pocket camera and tripod. He has a tremendous story of recovering from a mysterious career-threatening wrist injury after diagnosis and surgery at Mayo Clinic, and capturing him telling the story in his own words was extremely important in getting it told in USA Today. If I had to line up a freelance crew in Philadelphia, we would not have been able to make it happen.
  • I interviewed Marlow and Frances Cowan, our famous Octogenarian Idols from Ankeny, Iowa, on my way through their state as I was headed to a meeting. Their piano duet at Mayo Clinic has been seen more than 7.2 million times on YouTube; this video shot on my pocket camcorder the week before their appearance on Good Morning America has more than 200,000 views. (And by the way, the video that started it all was also captured with a nimble device, Sharon Turner's phone.)
  • I received a call about Rachel Nielson, from Colorado Springs, on a Wednesday afternoon this past February. She was at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for the first time, and was amazed by her experience. Later that afternoon she was telling me, on video, how the integrated team approach had made such a difference for her.
  • Corrie Mork, from southern Iowa, had contacted me via email about the experience of her son Andrew at Mayo Clinic. Andrew had been diagnosed with a brain tumor during his Air Force basic training, and he and his mother shared their story through this post she had written, but which was greatly enhanced through video.

Please click through the links above to see the full stories. Each one of them is touching, and none of them would have been told  (at least as compellingly) without the aid of consumer-grade video cameras, which enabled us to be nimble.

And if you think it takes a massive budget for all this, consider that the cameras used for these videos cost $200 or less.

Choose a message to share 
It doesn't take a massive budget to create quality videos anymore.
Make more viral video content by keeping your production techniques simple.
Making videos for your organization to use online? It's important to be nimble.

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