Posted on 15-May-2014   by Dee Ward

Spreading the Twitter Word to Infection Prevention Professionals Across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

I was pleased to be asked by the Infection Prevention Society’s president, Julie Storr and Claire Kilpatrick (lead of the new Communications Committee) to help educate IPS members across the UK and Ireland about the benefits of social media. So, in Jan 2013, I started the journey of spreading the word about Twitter and the use of social platforms in the infection prevention space.

Twitter school

I personally visited 16 IPS branches across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and by the end of my trip we could see a marked increase in the number of Twitter followers of the main IPS Twitter account (@IPS_infection) – from 390 to 1636 (as at time of posting this).

The Challenges:

The format of each visit varied from a more formal PowerPoint presentation to an informal workshop approach.  The slides included details of the IPS Comms directive and highlights of our (Daniels) own journey into the Social Media world, sharing how we use our business stories to engage with our audiences and how we also trained (and are still training!) our sales  & customer services teams to use Twitter to help them enhance our customer relationships.

While some of the people I got to meet were sceptical (to say the least!), some seeing Social Media as “an invasion of their privacy” and “time consuming” by the end of each session most did admit that clearly Social Media is something quite different and can potentially enhance communications in the healthcare sector… by improving their ability to connect with fellow colleagues and patients as well as enhance the speed of communication and information sharing.

The Feedback:

These are an example of some the tweets I received after the sessions from the people who attended:

Tweet comment from @Joannellison6Tweet comment by @RHuytonTweet comment by @PollyGary

 And I received the following from Julie Storr:

  “On behalf of the IPS membership and the IPS Board, I would like to thank Daniels Healthcare for collaborating with IPS in the execution of the Twitter training sessions across the five countries throughout 2013 and into the beginning of 2014. The feedback I have received so far has been very positive and this has contributed greatly to our capacity as a Society to effectively participate in this social media. I would also like to thank you personally for the time and energy you have contributed to this, one of our key strategic aims for 2013. Thank you!”

What’s Next?

Going forward it will be really important to build on the awareness we’ve started and leverage the momentum of interest that has been generated. The focus will be on the individuals themselves to practice using the medium more and stretching their understanding of how they can use the social media platforms. I guess one of the challenges that I would put to organisations though – is being open to knowing how important technology will play in giving your staff the ability to really harness the power of social media and the speed of communication.

What is your organisation doing with social media? I would love to hear about it – just pop a comment below or tweet me on @ADeeWard to let me know about it. And you have had to make some journey’s yourself in terms of encouraging more people to engage on and with social media – I’d love to hear about that too!

Image courtesy of: baz777 / 123RF Stock Photo

Dee is the Customer Support and Marketing Manager at Daniels. She is the key force behind a motivated and responsive team who support the Daniels customers and sales representatives day in and day out.

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