Health IT Marketing – How is the Audience Changing? – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

We’re excited to share with you the 5 topics we’ll be discussing at our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, April 5th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on “Health IT Marketing – How is the Audience Changing?” and is hosted by 300Brand. In the past, CIOs held the cards. Now there is a broader group of stakeholders making health IT buying decisions. So, what does this mean for marketing and PR programs? Join us to discuss how the health IT target audience is changing, and how marketing messages and strategies are evolving to reach a broader audience and support sweeping change in the healthcare industry.

Now for the 5 topics we’ll be discussing:
1. What important changes have you seen in the health IT-decision-making process and influencers in the past few years?

2. How is Accountable Care changing the IT buying process?

3. How are you changing your marketing strategy to reach a broader group of decision makers/influencers?

4. How influential are non-IT audiences on IT purchasing decisions within healthcare provider orgs?

5. What strategies do you find most successful to reach the expanding health IT buyer/influencer community?

Bonus: What role do you think social media plays in this new game?

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the Health IT Marketing and PR community chat. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

Making the Transition From TV Reporter to Healthcare PR

In this HITMC video chat we sit down with Marcy Fleisher from Team Fleisher Communications to talk about her transition from TV reporter to owning her own PR agency where she does work in health care PR. She teaches us a lot about how to pitch local reporters and also covers how to pitch health care IT journalists. Plus, we talk about the differences in the two.

If you want to learn more from Marcy Fleisher, be sure to check out her panel on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Sponsored Media” at the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

About Author
John Lynn is the Editor and Founder of, the leading community of healthcare marketing and PR professionals. As editor of, John’s responsible for discovering and sharing the latest happenings in marketing and PR that would work for the healthcare IT marketing and PR communities. John is also the founder of Healthcare Scene where he has written over 5000 articles.

Pay vs. Pitch: Three Considerations for a Kick-Ass Content Strategy

The following is a guest blog post by Beth Friedman, Founder and Chief Content Officer of Agency Ten22.
Agency Ten22 frequently meets with healthcare IT software and service companies. From CEOs to marketing managers, the same question always comes up: “Is it better to pay for content placement or earn opportunities through media relationships?” The answer is both!

Paid placement of your content is a critical component for successful lead generation campaigns. Downloads are tracked and leads are received for long-term nurturing and sales follow-up.

However, research shows that earned interviews and article placements carry more weight with your company’s target audience—healthcare executives and departmental directors. Social sharing and summary blog posts magnify the impact of these earned efforts, typically at less cost than paid placements.

During the upcoming Health IT Marketing Conference, a panel of experts plan to debate this age-old question. I invite you to attend our Sponsored Content Panel session at HITMC16. And in the interim, consider these three steps for building a solid, lasting content strategy.

Step One:  Build Relationships

Healthcare is a people business. Everyone from top industry editors to niche reporters and channel salespeople appreciate time spent building partnerships and trust. These in-person meetings generate a wealth of content ideas and media opportunities. Here are three proven tips:

  • Pitch your targeted editors and sales staff separately. Meet in their offices versus crowded conventions. Food and drink are highly recommended.
  • Suggest new types of paid placement opportunities—get creative.
  • Make meetings perennial. Building trust takes time and repetition.

Step Two: Be Prepared

Both sides of the content house—sales staff and editors—respect industry knowledge. Do your homework. For every publication, know the last article written or piece of downloadable content posted by a competitor. Be fully aware of industry issues and upcoming regulatory changes that impact your key buyers. And finally, spend time reviewing the publication’s website for relevant niche channels, guest blogs or contributed content. Their subpages are important landing pads for content too!

  • Review editorial calendars and sync up your strongest subject matter experts and provider customers. Push for contributed articles or confirmations as an interview source.
  • Include color pictures and brief bios of your experts—remember, we are a people business!
  • Don’t see a fit for your product or service on the editorial schedule? Don’t worry. Schedules are only a guideline, not the final word.

Step Three:  Close the Deal

Finally, focus on follow-up! As healthcare marketers are all aware—the devil is in the details. Quickly secure all editorial ideas and subject matter sources before your competitor steals the opportunity.

  • Provide a detailed summary of ideas discussed and ask the editor to confirm in writing, with exact deadlines and word counts.
  • Confirm opportunities with your subject matter experts and provider customers. Obtain all prior approvals and authorizations to participate.
  • Send a thank-you note—always.

Both types of content, sponsored and earned, play an important role in demonstrating your brand’s thought leadership within the healthcare industry. The three steps above provide a practical roadmap for getting started. Agency Ten22 wishes you all the best on your content journey and looks forward to seeing you in our hometown of Atlanta for HITMC16!

Agency Ten22 is a sponsor of the 2016 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference.

Healthcare Marketers’ Manifesto

The following is a guest blog post by Jessica Clifton, Director of Marketing, Billian’s HealthDATA.
Jessica Clifton - Healthcare IT Marketing
In just a few short weeks, some of the brightest minds in the field of healthcare marketing will descend upon Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2016 Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference (HITMC).

There’s something refreshing about show-goers’ willingness to enter into intimate arenas with peers and competitors alike for the greater good of the healthcare marketing tribe.

I’m reminded that, while we’ll soon be immersed in insightful sessions covering the many facets of advanced digital marketing practices, it’s important that we do what we can to keep those efforts coupled with the big picture understanding of our role in helping paint the portrait of our industry.

Whether we’re consulting HIT clients on articulating ROI, or penning our next professional blog piece, we’re all threads in the fabric of U.S. healthcare media and communications. As marketers aligned to the field, we bear a certain responsibility for industry perception both within and outside the healthcare market. To varying degrees, we influence the dialogue across hospital boardroom tables and public sentiment for the healthcare industry as a whole in the copy we write and the stories we tell.

Healthcare has many frustrations; I doubt I’m the only one who saw through new eyes after being in the industry a bit. Turn an eye behind the curtain, though, and you’re overwhelmed by the number of nimble minds working to make some very complicated things possible.

Many are burned out, buckling beneath the strain of healthcare’s infrastructure overhaul. We all need an encouraging word.

Thus, let us give voice to the right stories. Let’s move past finger-pointing and give our industry’s wins more air-time. In the dichotomy of positive and negative PR and sentiment, let’s remember that the wolf we feed is the one that thrives.

Let us also not be afraid to professionally address the hard truths things like population health analytics will reveal. Let’s promote public data sets and invite consumer participation. Let’s be willing to pursue progress and supportiveness over salaciousness, and opt for data check-mates over click bait.

Let us advance the push for authenticity in marketing. Let’s be honest about what doesn’t work, and shed even more light on what does. Let’s build digital paths to innovative ideas from small-scale and big players alike.

Let us speak beyond the echo chamber, engage patients who also happen to be consumers, and encourage multi-stakeholder commentary in our journalism and in our business approach.

Let us all acknowledge that we, the collective media, hold sway.

Let’s take the opportunities afforded to us at HITMC and beyond to reignite our passion for what we do and hone our skills to produce inspired marketing that encourages our industry to find and push for growth. We are all patients here.  #encouragehc

Billian’s HealthDATA is a sponsor of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference and they offer extensive hospital and healthcare business intelligence on over 875k U.S. healthcare organizations. Browse the company’s publically-available healthcare facility profiles, hospital news and RFP feed, and healthcare “Top 10” reports to learn more.

PR Strategies that Drive Success and Help Achieve Optimum Results – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

We’re excited to share with you the 5 topics we’ll be discussing at our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, March 22nd at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on a “PR Strategies that Drive Success and Help Achieve Optimum Results” and is hosted by Dodge Communications. PR can be a powerful tool for promoting your company. Join us to talk about the PR strategies that work for you and your company and learn from others.

Now for the 5 topics we’ll be discussing:
1. What B2C trends are you incorporating into your B2B efforts?

2. How does social media fit into your PR strategy?

3. How does your organization strategically leverage PR?

4. How do you gain buy-in from senior leaders in PR?

5. What trends do you think will dominate the healthcare PR industry this year?

Bonus: Name the coolest Healthcare IT PR campaign of 2015.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the Health IT Marketing and PR community chat. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

1 day left to register for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference!

#HIMSS16 Wrap-Up: Moving Past the Echo Chamber

The conversations happening at HIMSS were very encouraging, but they’ll only mean something if we continue them now that the conference is over. We need to take the innovation and interoperability that is happening in health IT and broadcast that story to providers and patient communities.

Innovate or die

There may not have been a single topic at this year’s HIMSS that emerged as a theme, but plenty of vendors still had a lot to say about precision medicine, population health, and surprisingly to some, patient engagement and interoperability (surprising because many feel that these should be part of what we do everyday, not just trending topics). John Halamka summed up this year’s conference by saying, “buzzwords are dead;” the mantra for providers and vendors is to “innovate or die!” Many of you know and live and breathe it every day.

The health IT marketing community was well represented, with the #HITMC meetup on Monday, #healthITchicks on Tuesday, #HIMSS16 social media ambassadors on Wednesday, and #HITSM panel discussion Thursday. Thought leaders in each of these meetups told the story of innovation.

Not quite a “drop the mic” moment

The #HITSM panel was standing-room only. Corepoint Health’s Chad Johnson introduced the distinguished panel, Mandi Bishop facilitated, and panelists Dr. Rasu Shrestha, Lygeia Ricciardi, David Chou and Drex Deford gave great answers about innovations that would move health IT forward. Answers included universal patient ID, smart sensors, semantic language and natural language processing, IoT, evolving government incentives and other “technologies that liberate the data.” Chuck Webster periscoped the event and even fielded a question for the panel from a viewer in New Zealand.

I saved my own question for the end of the panel, and I was told later it could have been a “drop the mic” moment, as they say. I don’t know about that, but I asked the question, “How will we take the story of innovation in health IT and share it outside of HIMSS?” We were great at nodding our heads in agreement during the panel, but how will we tell this story to our providers, vendors and patient communities? Time constraints prevented the panelists from answering during the event, so I pose the question to you.

The world outside the walls of HIMSS doesn’t necessarily think that this much innovation exists in health IT. They need help deciphering the hope from the hype. They say they are waiting on better tools. But vendors are starting to get it. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a few minutes with one of the VPs at Cerner, and he proceeded to describe how their population health platform is EHR-agnostic. Knowing we only had a brief time to talk, he chose to focus on how their tools connect with others.

We haven’t always been able to say that, but innovation is happening. Open API’s are powering connections. Early adopter clinicians are embracing technology and piloting programs with wearables, smart sensors and mobile everything. Do our stakeholders know that?

For instance,

  • Do elderly caregivers know that a Samsung smartwatch and Reemo software platform allows seniors to operate lights, locks, thermostats, televisions and other appliances with a flick of the wrist, thus reducing falls and allowing staff to provide care based on real-time biometrics and behavioral data?
  • Do oncologists know about the progress of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Cancer Moonshot 2020 program and the promise of proteomics that renders much of current cancer treatment irrelevant?

Shahid Shah stated during the HITMC meetup that there is no interoperability crisis in health IT. But in many cases there is still a disconnect with clinicians. We tend to agree that clinicians are risk-averse and often wait until they have little choice to adopt new technologies. So let’s accelerate their progress with a little storytelling about those that are.

Biggest takeaway

My takeaway from HIMSS16 is the need to plug into the communities that are clamoring for innovation and let them know it is happening now. Leave the hype at home, be authentic, and use our influence as a community to tell the story of what’s going on in health IT.

Not everyone will listen. We know that. But for the providers who still try to point to the lack of health IT tools, we can show them what’s being developed, who’s using it, and what outcomes they are seeing. And that can lead to further incremental improvement. Wouldn’t it be great if we were talking next year in Orlando about clinicians who finally get what we’re doing? Now that would be innovation.

#HIMSS16 Press and PR Debrief – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

We’re excited to share with you the 5 topics we’ll be discussing at our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on a “#HIMSS16 Press and PR Debrief” and is hosted by Agency Ten22. The HIMSS Annual conference is the major event for many healthcare IT companies. In this chat we’ll talk about the things that worked and things that didn’t work with your media efforts at HIMSS 2016. We’ll talk about press releases and how effective (or ineffective) they were. Plus, we’ll talk about some tips for measuring the effectiveness of your press releases and if we should abandon the press release. Even if you weren’t at HIMSS or don’t care about that conference, no doubt you’ll still get many ideas that will help your PR and media efforts.

Now for the 5 topics we’ll be discussing:
1. How were your HIMSS media meetings? What worked, what didn’t work?

2. Specific editors—any specific tips for some of healthcare’s most notable editors?

3. Is the wall between sales teams and editorial teams still standing? What’s happening for your relationships these days? Any changes or trends?

4. Did you send out any press releases during HIMSS? What makes for a good HIMSS release? Tips for rising above the noise? Or avoiding the rush all together?

5. How do you analyze your press release results? Tips for measuring effectiveness? Should we abandon the press release?

Bonus: What was the best/most effective evening social event you attended at #HIMSS16?

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the Health IT Marketing and PR community chat. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

10 days left to register for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference!

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference Preliminary Schedule

We’re getting really close to announcing the full Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) schedule, but while we finalize a few sessions and confirm the session times with all the speakers we thought we’d share the preliminary schedule for the conference with the community (click on the image to see the larger version on the HITMC conference website):
We think you’ll be really impressed by the wide variety of topics we’ll be covering over the 2 days of conference programming. Plus, we have an extraordinary group of speakers preparing to present at the conference. You can see almost all of their speaker profiles on the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference speaker page. We really appreciate all the time and effort these professionals put into making the event so great.

We’re just over a month away from the event. Registration for the conference is still open, but it will close on March 17, 2016. So, register now and join hundreds of your healthcare PR and marketing colleagues in Atlanta.

Announcing the 2016 HITMC Awards – Submit Your Nominations

After last year’s successful Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Awards, we’re excited to bring back the HITMC Awards for 2016. We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of submissions to last year’s awards and so we can’t wait to see the creativity, expertise, and skill that’s been on display again in the Health IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) and will be nominated this year.

If you have a campaign, a social media marketing effort, an exhibit hall booth or an exemplary healthcare marketing and PR effort you think was great, we’d love to have your submissions. Feel free to submit your own campaigns or recognize your colleagues. We want to hear about the best, most interesting, most effective, most creative campaigns we can find. Please don’t nominate any campaigns or efforts that have been nominated previously or that happened previous to 2015.

Here’s a list of the HITMC award categories:

  • Best Trade Show Theme or Campaign
  • Best Content Marketing Program
  • Best Social Media Program
  • Best Creative
  • Agency or Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing or PR Professional of the Year (an individual)

We don’t like long lengthy submission forms that discourage people from sharing a great campaign, so we’ve made the HITMC Award nomination form as simple as possible. We’ll be closing the nomination period on Friday, March 18th.

The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and each HITMC Award category winner will be recognized during the 2016 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference in Atlanta. We’re excited to see all the creative things that are happening in healthcare marketing and PR.

If you have any questions about the HITMC Awards, please reach out to us on our contact us page. We look forward to seeing the very best in healthcare IT marketing and PR!

Submit Your Nominations Now!

Podcast: The Provider’s Survival Guide to Digital Health

Question: Why should health IT marketers pay attention to what providers say?

Answer: OK, admittedly the answer sounds a little obvious, right? But do we sometimes need a reminder to avoid being too myopic in our focus?

Guest: Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. @SeattleMamaDoc

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson

We were honored to have well-known online and TV personality Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. SeattleMamaDoc, as a guest on the Health IT Marketer Podcast. She is a practicing pediatrician and well-respected provider voice for digital health nationwide.

Strap on your seat belts and try to keep up as Dr. Swanson gives a fast-paced, highly insightful look at how digital health keeps evolving and what providers must do to provide the best care for patients who are now using every resource at their disposal to research conditions and connect with caregivers. Digital health means more than just being on Facebook or using an EHR; it is being open-minded to partnering with patients and tech innovators.


What I really enjoyed about interviewing Dr. Swanson is that every word came from a place of passion and experience. She practices what she preaches! She couldn’t see me, but I was pumping my fist in the air in agreement when she gave the following answer regarding whether she gets offended when patients bring health information to her that they have found online:

If it offended me, I would be a total moron! I think that any physician that would be upset by a patient going online doing personal research and bringing those care points to the visit really better question what’s going on in their mind.

She concluded with an impassioned plea to do whatever we need to do to get the right care:

Trust your instincts. Use every resource you have; that is your crowd, that is the Internet, that is the specialized health centers in your region, that is the expert conglomerated aggregated care centers around the country, and those are even communities online — things like Patients Like Me. Use your peer networks. Go online and find as much as you can, and then be as squeaky as you need to be to get the best health care you can.

More Thought-Provoking Quotes from SeattleMamaDoc

  • “You can’t just follow health care people on Twitter. You have to follow Beyonce! And you have to follow JT. And you have to follow your neighbors.”
  • “If we can’t even tolerate a Google search before someone comes in, I think we’re rendering ourselves mute if we think we’re experts in that way.”
  • “We can’t provide health care the way that we always used to and hold all of the advice ourselves and not open up to let families to get and research information in different ways. It’s just too expensive and laborious to do it that way.”
  • “I think patients will get their information. Patients will do their research. Then it’s our [providers’] job to be there with them asynchronously, virtually and in person, and be relevant by being a really smart curator.”

About SeattleMamaDoc

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, better known online as @SeattleMamaDoc, is a practicing pediatrician and the mother of two young boys. She is on the medical staff at Seattle Children’s and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.

She is passionate about improving the way that media discuss pediatric health news and influence parents’ decisions when caring for their children. She is an executive committee member of the Council on Communications and Media and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She sits on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine and on the board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. I’m a weekly medical contributor with NBC affiliate KING 5 News in Seattle. She is an advocate on the topic of vaccines and was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. She was named to TIME Magazine’s Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.

You can reach her on Twitter at @SeattleMamaDoc.

Subscribe on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Archived episodes

Share your comments on Twitter using the hash tag #HITMarketerPodcast.

Welcome to HITMC!

We're glad you found the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (or as we affectionately call it...HITMC). This blog is a place for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals to come together and share their insights, skills, expertise with other people trying to make healthcare better through the use of technology. This blog grew out of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which is held annually. We look forward to connecting and learning from you. Please feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page if you have any questions.

Style Selector


Layout Style

Patterns for Boxed Version

Images for Boxed Version