It was nine o’clock on a Tuesday morning in June 2008. Lee A. Aase, manager of media relations at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., learned of a study involving one of Mayo’s endocrinologists, Victor Montori, MD, that was going to be published that afternoon in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Explore this issueOctober 2012
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At 10:20 am, Aase began videotaping an interview with Dr. Montori about the study. By noon, the video was posted on Mayo’s YouTube channel, embedded in its news blog, and e-mailed to journalists. The following day, the Wall Street Journal health blog embedded the video within its story.
After several years of experimenting with social media as a vehicle for disseminating healthcare information, Mayo launched the Center for Social Media in July 2010. Its mission was to expand social media from a public relations and marketing application to a robust communication tool for patient care, research, and education. Since then, the center has surpassed its original goal, evolving into a social media expert for healthcare providers nationwide.
“Our use of social media was an outgrowth of our media relations work,” says Aase, now director of the center.