#MCSMN Annual Conference Day 2

Hi everyone! I'll be live-blogging throughout the day, so check back often for updates! (Note: updates are added to the top.)

CASE STUDY: Crisis Communications: Healthcare Social Media and the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy

Cristina Calvet-Harrold's relationship with Orlando Health established that CCH would be the lead on social media for the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. This wasn't the first crisis the CCH team has handled with Orlando Health. Previous crisis training was also instrumental in saving lives.

There were three key messages and goals the hospital wanted to communicate: We are prepared, we are the experts, we are a team.

On Sunday, June 12 at 6:50 a.m., the first social media posts began. All other advertising campaigns were stopped and all posts were focused on the tragedy. On Monday, June 13, social media posts about the hospital being open went out, a message that was getting lost in all the communications. Social media posts emphasized to patients and families that care was being given to all. The local media started to use social media posts (tweets) for their broadcasts to the public. Later in the week, social media posts started to show the support coming in from around the world. On Saturday, June 18, regular social media posts started to break up the constant coverage of the tragedy.

A rule of thumb for this crisis situation was to publish with the families in mind. It was important to publish constantly on social media due to the bilingual community and family members in different time zones. The CCH team strived to have all messages come from the Orlando Health social media accounts first, being present at every media interview, and to publish factual information approved by the hospital as often as possible.


  • Take any opportunity you can to prepare now.
  • Stay ahead of everything.
  • Be as clear and factual as possible.
  • Your team will need more than one person and identify whom will be the main spokesperson.
  • You will need the client's trust to do this job successfully.
  • Anticipate and accommodate multilingual inquiries.
  • Prepare to speak to the families of patients and of the deceased.
  • Corrections are good.
  • Work in shifts.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Crisis comes in different forms.

KEYNOTE: Health, Reputation, and the Dynamic Social Conversation

Robyn Orth and Jen Scroggins from Lilly talk about the digital transformation taking place at Lilly and how digital storytelling is humanizing the brand.

Lilly's digital transformation started in 2008. The leaders at Lilly were committed to having a conversation about launching social media accounts. The conversation started by thinking about where is the digital world. Following that, the two questions asked were who are we trying to reach and what do we want them to know or do?

From there, LillyPad (Lilly's blog) was launched. It wasn't a marketing tool. It was a place to engage, participate, and have online conversations with its customers.

The second evolution was finding Lilly's voice. From the Communications areas of focus, digital narratives were created. The content put out on social media needed to fit within 4 buckets: Meeting medical needs, "We are Lilly," value of medicine and science, campaigning for public policy. From those four buckets, a consistent tone of voice and use of photos started to develop.

The second half of the presentation focused on building trust in the Lilly brand. A brand campaign was launched and focused on current and prospective employees, policy and business leaders, and healthcare and academic thought leaders. The message was focused on inspiring stories about Lilly employees, allowing the science and scientists to shine.

Biggest takeaway? Focus on the story behind the story.

CASE STUDY: Social Media, Your Hospital, and the Threat of Suicide: A Matter of Life, Death, and Liability

Carol Vassar's presentation focuses on 60 minutes on a Friday evening.

On October 16 at 9:46 pm, a Facebook post appears on the Hartford Hospital Facebook page "...I want to kill myself and I get turned away." What do I do, asks Carol? Carol looked at the commenter's Facebook page and notice two similar posts from just hours before.

Panic. Breathe. Recover. Go.

Carol reached out to three people who could help in that moment. Also, she reached out to Connecticut's Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams and described the situation. The first question from the mobile response team was, where does he live? She checked the poster's Facebook page again.

From there, she calls the local police and explained the situation again. They were able to dispatch a patrol car for a welfare check.

Finally, she notified Facebook, through its newly adopted policy, about the suicidal post.

That was it.

What did Carol learn?

  • Create official procedures and policies for this situation.
    • Urge the person to call 911 or visit their local emergency room.
    • If you know his/her location, call the nearest police department and ask them to do a safety check.
    • Report the threat to the social media platform.
    • Know your local mental health resources.
    • Screenshot/print the social media post and remove it from social media (if possible).
    • Report to your supervisor and compliance/legal teams.
  • Have evening and weekend coverage.
  • Trust your training.
  • Trust your experience.
  • Trust your colleagues.
  • Trust your gut.

CASE STUDY: How to Engage your Executives in Social Media #ThoughtLeadership

Krysta Privoznik says it takes creativity, dedication, and patience when engaging executives in thought leadership but the benefits are worth it.

Why social media?

  • New audiences.
  • Driving dialogue.
  • Flexibility.
  • Real-time engagement.
  • Authenticity.
  • Dynamic content.
  • Find ways to take offline activities online.

How do you do this? Krysta has a formula. There are five key phases to develop a thought leadership profile.

  • Define and build. Make sure your executive is comfortable being online.
  • Education. Teach the basics and the rules of the roads.
  • Content: Get creative! But keep the training hands-on for the first 60 days.
  • Engage: Start to build the strategy. Join industry-related conversations and post open-ended questions.
  • Optimize: Set monthly goals that guarantee success.

What are the 5 elements of success?

  • Conduct individual training.
  • Choose the right platform.
  • Set goals and expectations up front.
  • Link to broader communication strategy.
  • Be honest about what's measurable.

KEYNOTE: Give the People What They Want: Authentic Interaction and Compliance Communication

David Harlow kicks off day 2 of the #MCSMN Annual Conference talking about the challenges posed by the use and users of social media. Social media is a balance. Balance openness with an appreciation of when we need to keep things close. To do this, we need to understand the tools.

Social media is the new town square, as in that's where the people are and that's why our organizations are there. We want to get close to our patients by offering relevant, timely information but not too close. Recognize the tension between authenticity and compliance.

Understand HIPPA:

  • A patient can release his or her own private information.
  • The issue is patient consent.
  • A violation of HIPPA can be grounds for a violation of state or federal law.
  • Common law liability: Duty-Breach-Causation-Harm.
  • Policy development that is tailored to your institution is key to avoiding HIPPA violations.
  • Policy forming: Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing.
  • Review HIPPA's 18 identifiers.

Continue to review and update policies and procedures. It's not a one and done!

Patients want to reach out and share information. The question is how do you respond as an institution. We want to connect and provide information but we need to tread carefully. Think broadly when trying to connect with patients online.

How do we bridge the gap? Set up some guardrails. With good policy and procedures in place, you'll be able to navigate the space and enable authentic interaction. You need to have a compliant culture in order for this to work. The most difficult part is culture change so everyone involved internalizes the changes. Find a blend of stability and agility that will be lasting and continue to protect our patients.

Choose a message to share 
Health, reputation, and the dynamic social conversation:
How to engage your executives in social media #ThoughtLeadership:
Crisis communications: Healthcare social media and the Pulse Nightclub tragedy:

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