“Social” or “Media?”

On March 21st, 2010, on behalf of Ogilvy Health, I delivered a presentation “Social or Media” at the seminar “Social Media and Hospital PR.”  The seminar was a part of KIMES(Korea International Medical & Hospital Equipment Show), the largest event of its kind in Korea, and sponsored by Korea Medical Doctors’ Weekly. Dr. Yang, Kwang-Mo, CEO of Healthlog, the most successful health blogger in Korea, was another speaker, and he talked about Health 2.0. While I uploaded my presentation file at Ogilvy Health blog, since it is in Korean, let me summarize my key messages towards medical doctors and hospital marketers at the event.

I have observed and talked with many people who want to use “social media” for corporate purposes. What I noticed is that there are two types of approaches. 1) The first type has the emphasis on “Media”: they try to leverage social media as ‘PR’omotional media. A big mistake for this type of people is being “too much promotional” and they approach social media like homepage. 2) The second type, which is a much better group, has the emphasis on “Social”: they try to ‘being social’ with stakeholders via this new media. They do not just throw out their promotional messages, but, listen, and engage with people.

Many medical doctors ask their PR staffs or PR agency “I don’t know(care) what the social media is, but, just open it, fill with a lot of information, and I hope much more patients will visit our hospital.” Wrong. The leader of the hospital should spend their time to being “social” with patients and community. Sometimes, they open a hospital blog, and just transfer all the contents from their previous homepage. Wrong. While the homepage is about hospital information, the blog/social media is about story.
From a communications perspective, “being social” is about exchanging stories, not just dry facts and information. So, if someone wants to use ‘social media’ that means the owners(e.g. medical doctors, corporate executives, etc.) commit themselves to be SOCIAL.

p.s. According to Webster.com, the definition of ‘social’ has the following meanings:

“involving allies”

“pleasant companionship”

“relating to human society”



“cooperative and interdependent relationship”