Managing Social Media for Making Cancer Hospitals’ Brands More Human: A Proposal Model based on a Literature Review

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Pablo Medina
Eva Medina
Toni Gonzalez Pacanowski


Managing social media constitutes a challenge for cancer hospitals: internal processes, quality information, and the role of employees. These organizations resort to social media to enhance their relations with stakeholders and promote their brands at the same time. This paper analyzes how cancer hospitals could use social media to associate their brands with human values (patients’ rights, honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion), and become more credible institutions. To do that, we conducted a literature review on cancer hospitals’ communication initiatives on social media: we considered three databases, four keywords, and six inclusion/exclusion criteria to gather papers published on this topic between 2011 and 2020. We identified 114 papers. Based on that, we developed the PET Branding Model, an online communication model that these hospitals can implement to associate their brands with human values. We concluded that cancer hospitals need to implement a Social Media Unit that employs people from different professional backgrounds and work according to protocols; prioritize a public health approach focused on satisfying stakeholders’ needs in terms of information; and train the hospital’s employees on how to use social media professionally.

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