Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Envisioning a scenario for health care social media

health care social media, social media

Relaxing in a hammock (a Fathers Day gift), I imagined some social media possibilities.

As the grey squirrels frolicked in the trees above and a soothing breeze gently rocked my hammock, I pondered a possible scenario for social media in health care.

I envisioned a lively blog, with super-interesting posts from healthcare leaders. Doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, nutritionists and others shared their wisdom on a variety of timely topics. They helped people understand the most compelling — and often complex — issues of our time. They spoke about everything from how to make healthcare more affordable to steps you can take to prevent serious health problems. They kept a pulse on hot topics and made valuable contributions to the conversation.

In addition to the written word, they communicated via concise videos on a YouTube channel. They got to the point quickly for those who only had a minute or two to spare to absorb the information. 

The blog posts and channel videos appeared on a regular schedule planned in advance.

Audiences came to look forward to the posts. They subscribed for alerts so they wouldn’t miss the week’s or month’s newest addition. They liked Facebook and LinkedIn pages and followed Twitter accounts tied to the blog and channel. They shared posts with their friends and followers because the info was too good to keep to themselves.

Over time, they developed connections with the experts. They asked them questions on their blogs and video channels, as well as live online chats, Google+ hangouts and webinars that followed. They began to see them speak on TV and radio. They went to see them speak in person.

They felt a deep connection. They wanted to turn to them when health questions or challenges occurred.

Behind the scenes, a social media strategist worked with a team of writers, videographers, web developers and graphic designers to help the experts polish up their content. The strategist developed an editorial calendar and measured views and interactions. As time went on, the strategist tracked visits to landing pages on websites and conversions such as making an appointment with a doctor.

The scenario didn’t just include owned and earned media. It was supported by paid media such as boosted Facebook posts and promoted tweets.

In the end, the experts were very pleased to tap the power of social media to connect with key audiences in a scale never before possible. And those in the audiences got to know, like and trust the experts to the point that they made appointments with their organization when they needed health assistance.

Wow, it was fun thinking about the possibilities! Amazing where the mind can go on a relaxing Saturday in the back yard.




A few more tips from a newbie using the iPhone 5 to record video

January 26, 2013 Leave a comment

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Entering the world of quick-turnaround, low-cost videos

January 12, 2013 Leave a comment

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How to use video to spread your health care messages

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

A panel in the huge bronze doors of a historic Mayo Clinic building. Mayo has helped open doors for those in social media health care through efforts such as the Health Care Social Media Summit and Social Media Health Network.

Took a 6 a.m. flight out of Cincinnati earlier this week to get to Rochester, Minn., in time for a pre-conference workshop called How to Use Video to Spread Your Health Care Messages to the Public and the Media with Vince Golla , digital media and syndication director at Kaiser Permanente, which serves 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. The 3-hour session took place the afternoon before the Health Care Social Media Summit and Social Media Health Network meeting.

It was well worth the loss of sleep. Besides, there was lots of coffee to perk me up!

Here are a few highlights from Golla’s workshop:

* Video equipment, and editing and publishing tools have become so affordable and easy-to-use that it’s a no-brainer for PR people to take advantage of them. At the same time, the threshold for production quality has come down. CNN even laid off a number of videographers because its viewers were supplying news videos acceptable to watchers. On top of that, a Pew study shows that people are getting more news via social media. This presents a tremendous opportunity.

* Keep your online videos concise, usually under three minutes. YouTube metrics will give you a good understanding of how long to make a video — and the topics that hold your audience’s attention.

* Documentary style works well. For example, patients telling their stories unscripted and uncompensated to an interviewer at a 15% angle from the camera. Focus on storytelling. Be sure to have them sign a HIPAA waiver. These videos make for good viewing in waiting rooms and embedding in e-newsletters. One video in a Kaiser Permanente newsletter led to 50-plus viewers asking for colon cancer screening kits.

* Devote appropriate time to preparation, especially scouting a location with an ear on sounds and eye on lighting. Interview your subject off-camera, make her comfortable, then turn on the camera and make it more conversational. Use there rule-of-three when framing — include something visually interesting in the shot along with the person speaking.

* Be strategic. Ask how a planned video fits into your message architecture and ties to your organization’s goals and objectives. Maybe a newsletter article or podcast would work better.

* Supplement embargoed press releases about study results with private links to videos of experts quoted in the announcements. These help draw coverage and end up being used by mainstream media.

* Video blogs can be effective platforms for humanizing your hospital. Great examples are Sharing Mayo Clinic and From Dr. Preston Maring’s Kitchen.

* External mics, tripods and lenses, such as those sold on Photojojo, are a necessity. (Check out The Glif, which allows you to put an iPhone on a tripod.) They make a big difference when using an iPhone, Droid or other smaller camera.

* A do-it-yourself video outfit can be assembled for $2,475, while the cost of a single professionally produced video of three minutes. costs $3,500-$5,000. Good argument for investing in equipment.

* Hire an intern to do video editing using Final Cut Pro 10 — and have the intern train you how to edit. Or pay a professional video editor to teach your team the basics.

* If asked to do a “viral video,” say: “You don’t make viral videos. You make videos that go viral. There is a difference.”

These are just a few of the nuggets from the comprehensive pre-conference workshop as I wind down on the Friday evening after a big week at the Summit. Hope you found them helpful.

Categories: Video Tags: ,

Lessons learned livestreaming video from adoption ceremony

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

 One week ago today, I was sitting in front of our home PC with this laptop — livestreaming video of myself from laptop to PC screen on

I had spent three hours on a Saturday morning reacquainting myself with Ustream. I felt a great sense of accomplishment at having figured out how to stream, and a bit of amusement at what a computer nerd I’d become.

That afternoon, I quizzed several friends at New Media Cincinnati about their use of Ustream.

I did all of this in preparation of livestreaming the annual “mass adoption day” from Hamilton County Probate Court. The day is held each year during National Adoption Month to build awareness about the need for adoptive parents. This year, three families adopted a total of seven kids.

I’m happy to report that the livestream went well. You can take a look here. Start at the 28-minute mark, unless  you want to watch us setting up and local TV crews getting ready to record the event.

Here are some lessons learned in this livestream adventure:

* Test, test, test. Jim Prues, a videographer under contract with Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, and I did three test broadcasts to work out technical issues and get comfortable with the technology.

* Use the location’s Internet connection, if possible, and not the wifi. Probate Court graciously allowed us to plug into its Internet port. This ensures a more robust broadcast and helps avoid fluctuating connection of wifi. But it also leads to…

* Enlist the help of the location’s Information Systems experts to help you set up your laptop so you aren’t blocked by a firewall. That was major headache — getting the laptop configured so we could connect to the Internet.

* Guide people to your Ustream account’s show page. You can e-mail a link to the show page, tell people to go to Ustream and search for the title of your show page, or embed code on a HTML page on your website. I did all three, just to be sure.

* Have a team of three to do the broadcast — the videographer, the laptop/Ustream person, and an on-camera announcer to introduce the livestream.

* Treat your livestream more like CSPAN than CNN. We started streaming 15 minutes before the event just to make sure everything worked. Last year, we made the mistake of treating it like a TV news update — and turned off the stream when nothing was happening. This gave viewers a blank screen.

* Use a professional-quality camera if possible. Jim was able to zoom in on some great moments, thanks to his expertise and a good camera.

* Promote the stream using traditional and new methods. We did a press release and e-mailed info to our newsletter subscriber list. I did updates on Facebook and Twitter. It was really cool to see more viewers join the stream when people retweeted the tweets sent from my Droid.

* Have fun. Look at this as an adventure, not something to stress about. As we like to say in our house, “it’s not cancer.”

Have you had any experience with Ustream or other livestreaming tools. I’d love to hear them in the comments section.

Ustream and Facebook and LinkedIn, Oh My!

November 21, 2009 11 comments

Streaming video from adoption ceremony helped build awareness about important issue.

Imagine if Dorothy and the gang would have had social media. Instead of lions and tigers and bears, it might have been Ustream and Facebook and LinkedIn. Oh, my! Here are some of my recent experiences while skipping down the yellow brick road of social media.


Yesterday morning, my Communications teammates at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services and I streamed live video from the third-annual “mass adoption” ceremony in Probate Court. Five families adopted children from the child protection system in a moving event held to build awareness about the need for adoptive parents. Although my employer recruits more than 100 adoptive families each year, the need never goes away. About 200 kids — mostly school-aged youngsters in sibling sets — await adoptive families as this is being written.

I’ve really appreciated watching live streams from Cincinnati Social Media, New Media Cincinnati and other events — on those occasions when I can’t attend. I’ve brought up the idea of us streaming from happenings such as the mass adoption to get more value out of them. My boss, Brian Gregg, thought this was a good idea. Penny Hedrick, a video expert, set to work on the AV end. And John Cummings of Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment, a former radio guy, got ready to do on-air talent work. Meanwhile, Communications teammate Laura Van Houten and administrative assistant Kathy Pflum agreed to monitor the online stream back at the office. I served as laptop techie, working Ustream, Twitter and Facebook.

Well, it was an adventure, to say the least. Kevin Dugan, Mr. Social Media in Cincinnati, warned me at the most-recent PRSA meeting to test the AV. I know from watching that Ustream almost always blips off during a stream. We had tested the laptop, wireless card, camera… in advance. Penny made several trips to the courtroom to do test streams.

Still, we encountered technical difficulties — probably indicating we needed a more stout Internet connection and a more beefed-up laptop. Also, more experience by the Ustream operator (which will come in time) would have helped. What happened was that I stopped the stream during “dead air” time. When I hit the “stream” and “record” buttons to restart the broadcast, only “stream” worked. Record was grayed out. Then, after two of the five adoptions had taken place, I clicked on the Facebook tool in Ustream and the stream stopped.  Ustream would blip off in a split second every time I hit “stream.” We couldn’t get it to work until John was doing the recap.

Despite these glitches, we consider the first-time try worthwhile. About 25 people got a chance to view the first two adoptions. One viewer commented on Twitter that he clapped along with the audience! Another, a former social worker with our agency, offered praise for the fine work our Adoptions staff is doing. Side note: I sent a photo to Twitter using TwitPic on my BlackBerry — and it got more than 50 views.

Bottom line: We built awareness about an important issue, even though we were basically doing a test-run.

Here’s a little tale about Facebook. Less than three weeks ago, I started a Facebook page for my place of worship — New Thought Unity Center in Cincinnati. I put on a logo, basic information, video clips and photos from services. I invited members of the congregation who also are Facebook friends.

Already, we have more than 160 fans!

One person, who attended Unity years ago, said the Facebook updates are prompting her to return. Another said it makes her feel great to see a Unity update in her Facebook stream. People are commenting and giving thumbs-up.

One point: I’ve had to educate people on our volunteer marketing committee that a Facebook fan page isn’t like a Web site home page. Rarely do people come to a fan page. Instead, people see updates in their Facebook streams. You need to do daily, in my opinion, updates. Space them out —  morning, afternoon, evening. Do one at a time. Don’t do six or seven (as one administrator did) at once, or people will hide your posts or unfollow.

Finally, as we near a return to Kansas, here’s a note about LinkedIn. I learned about the power of LinkedIn groups recently by posting a link to this blog on PR-related groups. I shared my notes from the PRSA Media Day — the previous two posts.

Wow! The posts got 10 times more visits than the average for this blog.

A point to make: I shared something that I thought viewers would appreciate and benefit from — not some spam about an unrelated event. Unfortunately, most of the shares I get on LinkedIn discussion and news feeds are from people promoting something unrelated to the group’s mission.

Hope you found these experiences helpful. I’m off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of… social media?