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December 2, 2009
Healthcare and Social Media and You

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest trends in human communications today is social networking and social media. It may also come as no shock that since this medium is growing at an alarming rate, certain industries are reconstructing the way they do business to in order to take advantage of it.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become fixtures in the daily lives of most Americans, and now, entire industries have discovered the potential of connecting with this once elusive audience.

But it should not be about selling something. Some industries are starting to use social media very well by engaging in a conversation. The Healthcare industry is one of them.

The Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industries are quickly becoming major players in the social media empire because of their message, relevance and familiarity. No matter where anyone stands on healthcare reform issues, they can all agree that healthcare is a major part of just about everyone’s lives.

With the evolution of social media, the industry is finding new ways to reach out to more and more people and finally become interactive. 
The Mayo Clinic is a perfect example of a healthcare-related business that has increased their brand awareness through social media. Using social networking sites like Facebook and having an extensive blogging system, The Mayo Clinic is an example to any industry that wants to better connect with their consumer.

So what does this have to do with you and your job search? Well, it’s a lesson on being industry savvy. Sometimes it’s not enough to just know about your segment of the industry, and you can never be sure of what opportunities will present themselves.

For example, if you are considering an opening at an in-house department of a healthcare facility, you should visit the hospital’s website and see if they have a patient blog or maybe even a Facebook Fan page. This will give you a window into the bigger picture of prospective employers. How do they think and why do they think that way?

In closing, this message isn’t just for those looking for a marketing job in the healthcare industry; this message is universal for all prospective employees in all industries. Know who you are, what you bring to the table, and most importantly, have an understanding of the industry in which you want to work. Otherwise, you are not only wasting perspective employers’ time, but your own.

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Jaci Russo is a co-founder and senior partner of The Russo Group, a national branding agency located in Lafayette, LA. She is a brand strategist with experience including strategic planning, consumer insight, brand management, national product launches, and media management for clients in a cross section of industries. She speaks to organizations across the country on the power of branding, changing the conversation, message training, and how to brand through social media.

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