Kaiser Permanente: Merging social practices into one — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Evette Tan of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

2:10 — SocialMedia.org's Kurt Vanderah introduces Kaiser Permanente's Vince Golla.

2:11 — Vince starts off by talking about how affordability is one of the most important things for Kaiser Permanente — health care has to be affordable. It becomes the responsibility of the health care industry to deliver high quality health care at an affordable price.

2:13 — Vince: We organize by something we call the “Cloverleaf” where social is a way to drive amazing content. We believe strongly in creating useful content and using social and digital to drive that content, as well as to start and sustain conversations about that content.

2:15 — Vince asks why this is important, before showcasing how newsrooms are dwindling, therefore sources for news are fewer, but consumers who buy new tech are now consuming more news. They are consuming more content.

2:17 — Vince: Big brands should fill in the gap with useful content. We started with share.kp.org and we created this because we wanted a platform to share the content. Has it been successful? Five million page views can't be wrong, but more importantly, our bounce rate is 2.26% months after launch.

2:19 — Vince: Marketing moves to create separate social properties. PR thinks Marketing is crazy. Marketing thinks PR is stiff and inflexible. Much hilarity ensues.

2:21 — Vince talks about the challenge of merging social within the organization. He uses the example of the musical, and specifically about how the medium uses the music to tell the story. That's also what social does — it carries the content and creates the conversation with great content.

2:23 — Vince: PR usually owns social in a lot of places, and can be purists in their approach to social. Marketing and advertising, which have money, don't want to be fenced in.

2:24 — Vince says you need to try and measure social readiness first before we can talk about merging social between internal departments.

2:25 — Vince: Surprise! Our content can coexist, no matter which department it comes from.

2:26 — Vince: We've tried to put in one place data from paid and earned social. We have a funnel to track engagements down to conversion. We use impressions as a metric because it's a common language that we can speak with the marketing department.

2:27 — Vince then talks about how they've managed to merge their acquisitions site with their PR blog, which focuses on health and contains recipes. The problem with the acquisitions site before was that it didn't have a lot of great content, but combining forces with the PR blog has helped bump readership.

2:29 — Vince: We've created a podcast series and made it shareable — and it broke our site. It's never happened before and is only happening now because we're working together.

2:30 — Vince: We're coexisting better together. We've both had to give a little bit but we're ending up delivering a better product more affordably.


Q: We're a very siloed organization, so I'm curious about how you broach these conversations with other silos?

A: Vince: Silos exist because they've always existed but it doesn't mean they have to. I just want to talk to people. Money is also a very very powerful motivator. If all our money is going to be less — since there's a huge amount of sharing going on — then it's in our best interests to share our resources.

Q: Do you try to introduce new ideas or what kind of strategies do you use in terms of content?

A: Vince: We have very strong ethos about recycling great content. The ethos has become stronger about not using a great piece of content only once. When people understand that's the norm and not the exception they are able to find new uses for that content.

Q: We're really challenged with reviews for 6,000 locations. Could you talk more about how you worked on that?

A: Vince: We have 600 sites but 17,000 physicians. What we've tried to do using various tools is to surface reviews and try to talk about whether or not this review is useful for the organization. We filtered out the reviews that aren't as important reputationally, so we can focus on the reviews that we can act on. By focusing on what's actionable then we can be more extraordinarily helpful.