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Make Way, Gutenberg: Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Mayo Clinic logoIf you had any doubt, this week’s launch of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media illustrates how the Internet—and social media in particular—is now a dominant force in healthcare marketing, advertising, public relations and essential communications.

Historically, hospitals, healthcare organizations and providers have been considered slow to adopt new marketing approaches. But we’ve been watching Mayo Clinic for quite a while, and this is one “big fish” that all the rest of us in the pond can admire.

The announcement declares: “The social media revolution is the most far-reaching communications development since Gutenberg’s printing press.” Well…some folks might want to wait a couple hundred years for the final score on that one, but it’s clearly a first-of-its-kind project, and they intend to raise the bar (again) in health care communications. They’ve done it before.

The Mayo Clinic has been a both a leader and a pioneer in adopting and effectively using social media tools. (First podcast was in 2005, and these days they count their YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook connections in the tens of thousands.)

The full news release lists some of the new Center’s services to include—or expand upon—internal and external communications such as training for health care employees, webinars, workshops; consulting and coaching; conferences; and various resources such as white papers, policies and guidelines.

The broader purpose of a Center for Social Media: to accelerate effective application of social media tools throughout Mayo Clinic and to spur broader and deeper engagement in social media by hospitals, medical professionals and patients to improve health globally.

Move over Gutenberg, Mayo Clinic continues to push the digital envelope.

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