May 9, 2017

Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

By Audrey Laine Seymour, Senior Communications Specialist

In my last post, I talked about two types of fishermen: sportsmen and bait-n-waiters. Sportsmen are the go-getters, the researchers, the ones constantly improving their game. The bait-n-waiters… well, you could mistake them for sunbathers if you don’t look closely enough.

There are many downfalls of being a bait-n-waiter. We’ll discuss a few of them here:

You have no navigation system helping you identify an area with a large population of your target species.

When you stand on the shore and fish, you have no sophisticated navigation system telling you where to go to catch the fish you’re looking for. In fact, you don’t know if there are any fish near you at all. The same is true for physicians and patients on social media. When a physician creates an account on a social media platform and then expects patients to find him, it’s a lot like the bait-n-wait method. He or she may not know if his target demographic is even active on that platform, and if so, what conversations are being held. Sportsmen do research to identify their target audience and then go to where they are, joining pre-existing conversations on priority topics.

Fish Species



Bait is non-discriminatory.

Think about ways you can target key audiences on social media. Hashtags, targeted and gated posts, and boosting should certainly be in your tackle box. With these tools, you can pursue the audiences you want, and exclude those you don’t. Sure, owning an account is better than not, but if you do catch any “fish,” they may not be the species you were hoping for.


Sunburned fishermen.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, anyone can get sunburned, whether you’re in a boat or on the shore. In my opinion, sportsmen would be prepared for sun with sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing. Bait-n-waiters, a.k.a. sunbathers, are usually in swim trunks and haven’t seen sunscreen in years. By not being on social media, or being inactive, physicians are effectively sitting in the sun with no sunscreen. It’s so easy to get burned! And it’s so easy to prevent! When was the last time you Googled a physician you know? You may see some “burns” in the results, but by properly constructing (or claiming) profiles on important social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Doximity, you can claim top search results for your name, pushing unrepresentative ratings sites further down – or maybe even off – the first page. And when you’re an active sportsman, you have even more control on what’s in the top search results.

Are you a sportsman? Can you teach others to become sportsmen? Social media in healthcare isn’t easy. That’s why we created the Social for Healthcare Certificate from Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite, the world’s first CME-accredited online course in the basics of social media in healthcare. Consider this your intro to fishing. It’s like the YouTube videos you know you’d watch before going to the sporting goods store to fill your tackle box.

Writing this post made me think about a song that was popular when I was in school, so I’m just gonna leave this here. You’re welcome.

What are other risks of being a bait-n-waiter? What tactics have you used to help physicians to become sportsmen?

Audrey Laine Seymour is a Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, and is a member of the Social and Digital Innovation (Star Wars) team.

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Tags: Physician Involvement, Strategy, Tactics & Best Practices, Uncategorized

I’ve really enjoyed this analogy, @audreylaine. Great way to explain the value of social media to physicians. (And thanks for the link to the sunscreen song!)

If you’re a healthcare communicator working with a bait-n-wait physician, what’s the best way to convince him or her to be a sportsman?


Audrey Laine, thank you for writing these posts. They really resonated with me as a “way to teach a man to fish.”


Thanks, @deannaconstans! It was a fun series to write. I hope there was at least one takeaway for everyone! 🙂

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