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Why Hospitals Block Employee’s Access to Social Media

I (Social Health Institute) recently had the chance to interview 25 of the best and brightest upcoming hospital administrators in the state of Texas. I asked them a series of questions to better help me understand where hospitals are in their social media journey. I plan to do a series of post on my findings but wanted to cover (briefly) some thoughts on one question up front…

“Does your organization block any access to social media outlets internally?”

Incase you were wondering purple = yes… The follow up question was, “if yes why?”

Here is where the light went off for me…

  • 46% answered Productivity
  • 31% answered Security
  • 23% did not know why

At face value this is not overly shocking. The issue here is I did not prompt them. They simply filled in why they felt social media was blocked at their facility or organization.

To me what stands out is we as marketeers or social media “experts” have done a poor casino jameshallison job educating senior leadership about social media. The majority of these leaders do not use the tools/platforms that the organization blocks so it is up to us to make sure they understand the business case of unblocking these mediums.

Those of us working in this space can defend the concerns of productivity and security in our sleep, but before you do try this…

I encourage you to setup a time where you can sit down with senior leaders and listen… don”t talk… listen. Understand their concerns and what about these technologies makes them uneasy. Resist the urge to jump in and defend every point. Let them talk…

In the end read back the key points to make sure you are on the same page. Then setup a follow up meeting where you can come back with data to support why you are right or they are right. Tell your leaders you want to keep this dialogue open and that you are not asking someone to flip the switch, on access, this afternoon but you do want to have he opportunity to make your case after you hear their concerns.

I think we worry about our defense too often without really hearing the concerns upfront.



Author Info

Reed Smith