Today’s keynote speaker at the CHPRMS annual conference was Chris Boyer of Inova Health where he serves as the senior manager for digital communications. I’ve known Chris for years via social media but this was our first opportunity to connect in person. It seems that our conference schedules are completely opposite one another. So it was such a pleasure to meet my old friend in person over breakfast this morning. It was truly like catching up with an old friend. Chris’ passion as a marketer is contagious. We immediately fell into a conversation about marketing to physicians using social media – an area of opportunity for many of us. We simply ran out of time before it was time for Chris to present.

Chris’ presentation was what I would call “social media 101 with attitude.” Did I mention that Chris likes to rant? His rant today was about how healthcare marketing focuses on the wrong things. We tend to focus on selling products (doctors, procedures, service lines) and  services. Chris believes (and I agree) that we need to be putting our efforts behind building trust. And social media presents us with a wide range of tools for engaging consumers and working on that trust building process. (Trust comes with familiarity…)

Just when I think we’ve all had enough of social media 101 presentations, I interact with a group of marketers who are just starting to tip toe into the arena and I have to rethink my position. One thing I’ve learned is that we can’t judge social media adoption (and understanding) based on our own usage. You have to get out there and see what other people are (and aren’t) doing. I thought that Chris’ presentation this morning was right on target and delivered in a friendly and accessible manner. The Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society was fortunate to have Chris as a keynote speaker. And I was fortunate to be there for the presentation! You can check out Chris on twitter: @ChrisBoyer.

After Chris’ presentation, I hosted a luncheon round table discussion on marketing to referring physicians. I wasn’t sure that this was a topic that would attract a crowd, but when I got to my table it was packed. We had a terrific conversation where we all shared ideas and strategies for marketing successfully to the physician audience – both employed and community physicians. I have an article on the subject coming out in Healthcare Marketing Report in either December or January. You can find me on Twitter: @DanDunlop.

In all, day one of the CHPRMS conference has been a success. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when my friend Chris Bevolo speaks. Chris is the president of Interval – a healthcare marketing firm in Minneapolis. I’ve seen Chris present in the past and he is both insightful and entertaining!

Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer

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