Healthcare Social Media: Mayo Clinic’s Social Network Facilitates Strong Response To Damaging CNN Story
Throughout the growth of healthcare social media, Mayo Clinic has always been at the forefront of the movement. In 2010, Mayo founded its Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) “to improve health globally by enhancing the use of social networking tools.” MCSMN now serves as a professional network for people looking to improve healthcare using digital communication tools, offering educational components and collaboration opportunities.
Mayo’s social media expertise and influence were put to the test in mid-August when a CNN news story threatened the organization’s reputation as one of the top healthcare centers in the country.
“We had some serious objections to the coverage of the way the story had been told, and it was important for us to be on the record about the deficiencies we saw in the story,” says Lee Aase, director of MCSMN and communications director for Mayo’s Social & Digital Innovation team. “We needed to get the word out to mobilize staff and our social media followers to help tell our side of the story.”
The CNN story — titled “Escape from Mayo Clinic” — chronicled the experience of an 18-year-old woman who was hospitalized at Mayo following a brain aneurysm. The story is critical of Mayo’s care and the decisions made by healthcare providers to block the patient’s mother from Mayo’s campus, leading the family to claim Mayo “medically kidnapped” the patient.
Citing “inaccurate, incomplete and irresponsible” reporting from CNN, Mayo publicly responded to the story through a statement on the Mayo Clinic News Network. But Mayo’s communication team took its response beyond a single statement — it tapped into its robust and extensive social media network to drive a powerful PR response.
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