Periscope And Blab For Health IT Marketing & Public Relations: November’s HITMC Tweetchat (11/3 Noon EST)

Many thanks to @TechGuy for this opportunity to contribute questions to the HIT Marketing and PR tweet chat (#HITMC, 11/3, Tuesday, Noon EST). My frequent Blab colleague-in-arms @Jimmie_Vanagon may, or may not, briefly appear: HE’S SEEING PATIENTS! :)

My five questions appear at the end of this post, but they evolve out of a conversation I’m having with you in my head, as I write this post.

Periscope and Blab Background

Periscope and Blab allow broadcasters to quickly and easily stream live video. Both leverage Twitter (Periscope is owned by Twitter) to announce video activity. Viewers can make text comments directed toward the broadcasters or other viewers. Viewers indicate “likes” while watching (floating hearts and applause indicators). “Scopers” and “blabbers” can follow each other, getting notifications of when broadcasts are scheduled or go live. Periscope is great for video selfies or interviews, giving people tours (such local attractions), and overviews of ongoing activities (crafts, hobbies…). Blab is great for creating instant, pop-up talk shows, in a Hollywood squares format (though there are only four squares).

Marketing and Public Relations and Periscope and Blab

The single largest category of use for Periscope and Blab is marketing. Cross index “Periscope” and “marketing” and you’ll get over two million hits in Google. Not bad for for something released only six months ago.

I’ve taken courses in marketing (as an undergraduate). I think workflow is an interesting way to market health IT products. I help market health IT products to improve healthcare workflow. But I don’t think of myself a marketing professional, more of as a healthcare workflow tech evangelist.

However, YOU are marketing and PR professionals, so I created some questions that you might be able to address to help me understand how Periscope and Blab can be used to market health IT.

I found this recent slideshare 5 Creative Ways to Use Meerkat or Periscope In Your Marketing. You may wish to quickly flip through the slides.

  • Authentic look behind the scenes
  • Exclusive promotion or deals
  • Ask me anything or Honest Hours
  • Creative and Unique Engagement Initiatives
  • In the moment story telling

So, my first question is this: which of these five uses of interactive social video-streaming lends itself to health IT marketing and public relations? I can think of several potential answers, but I’m more interested in what you (and John have to say) on this topic.

My second question is this: Could blab be used for any of these purposes? Several seem like they could be adapted to the a talk show-like format. Blab works particularly well with a co-host. If one host has technical problems (a frequent occurrence) the other can take over. If no-one shows up to feel empty seats, the hosts can chat. Let’s say you have a special guest, who is going to participate in an Ask Me Anything/Honest Hour. The second host can step into the audience and two audience members can literally pop into existence in own of the two remaining Hollywood Squares.

Let’s shift gears. What about public relations and Periscope or Blab? Periscope seems ideal for some forms of crisis communications, from either an authoritative agency such as the CDC, or perhaps a beleaguered health IT organization, attempting to get out in front of a rapidly evolving story. Blab might also be the most effective here. Imagine a healthcare organization PR professional hosting a blab and interviewing their President and CEO. Further, imagine allowing viewers to participate. Yes, this would be scary. But it could also be extremely authentic and effective.

So, my third question is this. What might be some best practices for using Periscope or Blab during some sort of organizational crisis management situation?

My fourth question is about product demos. The only software features I’ve seen demoed on Periscope is, wait for it, Periscope! Even though Periscope (and especially Blab) are low resolution, the Periscope screens that founders and user interface designers have demoed via Periscope were quite legible. And here’s the thing. I find most software product demos over the web to be extremely dry and sterile. This was not the case regarding Periscope. The Periscope demoers positively beamed and their hands practically shook with excitement, as they flipped Periscope back and forth between their face and their software. So my fourth question is this: Would you or someone at your company be brave enough to actually demo new product features over Periscope? How would you pitch this internally?

My fifth and final question is, what about Blabs with users of your software products? Just think of it. Three happy users in different part of the country, actually clicking around and talking about what they like about your product. What better testimonial could possibly be had? So my question is this: What could go wrong? (from the “wrong” folks showing up in the audience, posting comments, and, maybe, even getting a Blab seat, which, by the way, only happens if the host allows it, and they can be “kicked” from a seat, and even blocked from posting comments….)

I think Periscope and Blab open up an incredible world of health IT marketing and public relations opportunities, but also open some interesting cans of worms. Can you ignore Periscope and Blab? I don’t think so, at least not long-term. But what is the best way to get your feet wet, so to speak, and to begin to understand and master this fascinating new health IT marketing and PR technology? (Gee, maybe that’s question number six!)

#HITMC questions

T1. Which of 5 listed uses, from Honest Hours to Authentic Looks Behind scenes, lend themselves to HIT marketing & PR?

T2. What about Blab? Story-telling? Exclusive deals? (Like QVC) Other creative engagement initiatives?

T3. How could your organization stay ahead of a crisis narrative thru use or Periscope or Blab?

T4. Can Periscope be an effective way to demo products or new product features? Why?

T5. Imagine using Blab to interview happy users sitting in front of their software. What could go wrong? How to avoid?


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4 Trackbacks

  1. [...] and Blab in healthcare. Along with creating the questions below, Charles Webster also created a blog post overview of this month’s [...]

  2. [...] love the attention being given to Periscope and Blab. My friend (and yours) Chuck Webster has blogged about both platforms and used them extensively. Dr. Brian Stork gave a great summary of his experience with Periscope here. Dr. Jimmie Legan, Sean [...]

  3. [...] learn more about using Periscope or Blab, check out this blog post written by Chuck Webster, and this one by #HITMC Twitter Chat participant Jared Johnson. var [...]

  4. [...] and Blab in healthcare. Along with creating the questions below, Charles Webster also created a blog post overview of this month’s topic and will be co-hosting a post chat blab with [...]

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