My drive from Wake Forest, NC to work at Jennings in Chapel Hill takes anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on traffic and weather. So, I get to listen to a lot of radio. Sirius XM as well as terrestrial.
Last week I was flipping around the dial and came to WUNC – our NPR station – just as this segment came on. It was one of those segments that sticks with you for a long time. If I had been able to pull over, stop the car and just listen, I would have.
NPR StoryCorps is a remarkable project that is capturing the stories of our lives. These precious little moments are available as podcasts, and they are being added to the Library of Congress’ permanent collection.
For the past three years, StoryCorps’ Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.
That’s where this story fits: http://www.npr.org/2013/07/12/201207397/a-father-and-daughter-keep-the-faith-during-cancer-fight
It’s the story of Faith Marr and her father Jerris, and how together they are battling her cancer.
This story and the others in the StoryCorps series over the last three years are great examples of where healthcare is headed. It’s not so much about advertising and marketing any more. Or, simply pushing out content via social media channels. It’s about creating spaces – communities – where patients and families can go to be with each other. They can share experiences, read, listen to and watch audio and video content, and use these communities as support and educational resources.
Dan Dunlop, Jennings’ principal, is leading the charge for our clients on this front. He’s all about community building and guiding hospitals and healthcare systems to get on board. It’s a passion you can read about on his “The Healthcare Marketer” blog: http://thehealthcaremarketer.wordpress.com.
Creating such communities is a powerful way for healthcare companies to build brand interaction by giving current and potential customers a way to interact with each other on a much deeper level. It’s just not about pushing your brand on people any more.
There are probably many other “spaces” out there where you can hear others. One that has been mentioned as very good is “Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids” on Radio Boston WBUR: http://radioboston.wbur.org/2013/07/11/moock.
I invite you to listen to Faith’s story and others like it and be inspired. I know I was.