Personality to spare

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ROSEVILLE, Minn. – When it came time to boost awareness of its brand, Pediatric Home Service took advantage of its most valuable asset: its employees.

“Social media has really taken off as a marketing tool and some of our staff were already posting and very in touch with what’s happening (at the company),” said Katlyn Bourget, digital specialist. “Employees can reach a lot more than just us, so why we wouldn’t we use them as advocates for our brand?”

PHS recently launched an employee brand advocacy program to promote the company across social media forums, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

A committee comprising a mix of employees from all departments allows employees to get involved by contributing ideas. 

A monthly content calendar of what the company is working on, such as a new service or product line, keeps things focused, said Bourget.

“We have stuff that we want to push, so if the advocates are so inclined, they can share it on their personal pages,” she said. “We also leave some holes so that if something comes up, we can share that, as well.”

Having a solid plan for content is crucial, says Lalaina Rabary, communications and marketing specialist for People for Quality Care (PFQC), the advocacy division of The VGM Group. 

“There are some key aspects of your company—a tone that you would like to get across to your employees,” said Rabary. “You want the best information out there and you want to prioritize the messaging.”

PHS keeps it strictly voluntary what employee brand advocates choose to share, says Dana Akerson marketing supervisor for PHS.

“If they feel passionate about whatever that post is, or they are really excited about that content, it’s completely up to them,” she said. “It’s not something where we say, ‘All right, now share these.’”

PHS is already seeing its efforts pay off. The provider launched an Instagram account last summer and since the start of the advocacy program has seen a 662% increase in photos with its #PHSPeeps hashtag.

Using social media allows PHS to put its personality on display, says Akerson. And what is that personality?

 “I would say we are fun, we are engaging, and we are professional,” she said. “We keep the patient at the forefront, and we have fun while we are doing it.” hme