Social Networking in the NHS is a fairly new way of communicating to the public. During my week working with NHS Dudley, I was interested in finding out how different organisations use social media.
NHS Dudley first tried social networking sites such as Twitter and FaceBook in June July 2009; however after two months of using such sites they found that they weren’t as effective as communicating with their audience as first thought. This was due to a number of reasons but mainly not having anything specific to talk about about and therefore not creating a following.
Despite their first try not being successful, once NHS Dudley had a specific campaign they gave it a second chance. The NHS ‘Think Pharmacy’ campaign although not having any overall PR campaign, and therefore seen as risky, has shown to be successful.
In only three weeks the campaign has grown massively, by using Twitter and FaceBook word has spread and targeted the target audience, being teenagers. The rap video to go along with the campaign was posted on Twitter and soon after a natural PR strategy took place with a number of nationwide newspapers reported on the campaign. This emphasising that social media is a great tool for PR and one that should be taken advantage of.
With such success it shows that social networking really is the way forward. Despite being seen as a risky strategy at fist due to having no overall PR strategy a natural course of PR has happened, this being a common use of social networking sites.
Altogether I found my week working at NHS Dudley very interesting, in the communications office a number of mediums are used to communicate with their audience, from letters, telephone calls to social media. This just shows that although social media seems like the way forward other media outlets are sometimes more useful depending on the message and audience.