Amanda Mauck

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s Amanda Mauck on authenticity and what makes a good story

Amanda Mauck is the Director of Digital Engagement at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

When you're confident in the content you produce, the measurable results usually follow.

Her and her teammate — and admitted “partner-in-crime” — Sara Patterson, manage the hospital's social channels, email marketing, website, and digital advertising — which includes paid social. While Sara handles the day-to-day social management, Amanda focuses on the overarching social strategy.

She explains how recognizing good content is just as much an art as it is a science: “When you trust your gut, the measurable objectives and metrics get met — both myself and Sara are trained in journalism, so we have an eye for what makes a good story.”

Their eye for good stories is what led them to Tyler Smith, a 17-year old heart transplant patient who was at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital for three months awaiting a new heart.

“We had met him a couple of times, and we knew his story could showcase what it means for patients and their families to go through an organ transplant,” says Amanda. “That content is gold. It's beautiful. And our followers followed suit and loved the content. When you're confident in the content you produce, the measurable results usually follow.”

The results did follow.

Tyler's story was broken up into four videos that have collectively been viewed 205K times on Facebook.

The videos span from Tyler's initial diagnosis of heart failure to his recovery at home. “We interviewed him before his heart transplant, and he and his family did not know when or even if Tyler would receive a donor's heart,” explained Amanda. “The story was unfolding as we were shooting the videos and posting them online — it was a live story.”

It takes finesse to tell a story when the subject matter is emotionally charged and uncertain.

Amanda navigated the tumultuous waters by balancing journalistic integrity with what is right for the market and the Le Bonheur Children's brand.

Put on your journalism hat and dig around and try and find the stories that are unique to your hospital.

“I come from the perspective that if a story is told authentically, with truth — and hopefully with grace — then it is OK if some of those stories don't end well. We entered Tyler's story not knowing how it would end. It could have ended really badly for him. But there is truth in that. And had his heart transplant not gone well, that would still be a beautiful story of how A.) his family copes with that, and B.) how our staff would cope with that. You can't have a kid in the hospital for three months and not form a very intense relationship with that family. And so there was going to be a story there however it ended for him, and thankfully it ended well for him, and he got to go home. But if he hadn't, there still would have been a story that maintained true to our brand. And made true to what an honor it's been to serve that family.”

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's logo is a giant heart that Amanda explains inspires her team to ask, “What is the heart of this — what is the real story here?”

“I think that the content we have is successful because it's really authentic.”

Amanda continues, “You can't do that in an office somewhere. You have to get down on the ground, wander the halls of your hospital and meet people. Put on your journalism hat and dig around and try and find the stories that are unique to your hospital, that differentiate your organization from other organizations, really get to the heart of what your brand is.”

Amanda has been a member of Health since it began in 2016. Find her on Twitter here.