Content: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

One of the problems with determining what you’ll say on your practice’s blog or in Facebook posts or Tweets is there’s so much out there that you could say, it’s hard to know what to actually say. Here’s a good way to narrow down your options:

  • Only use content that’s your physician’s original (something they wrote based on their medical expertise)

              OR

  • Only use something that’s endorsed by an industry recognized authority on the subject.

These two standards rule out a lot of content possibilities and put you on the road to ensuring your online material can be trusted. Since good, bad, and ugly content can be difficult to identify, these are some points to consider as you choose:

Found the content in a reputable publication. It’s usable, right? If you see coverage of an interesting story idea, be sure to double check the information. Even the largest newspapers and biggest magazines and most popular sites get things wrong, so be sure you’re basing your information on something you know to be reputable. Which brings us to the next point…

What determines reputable content? Certifications. Online repositories of health content can be certified as good information. If your source doesn’t show that it’s content that’s certified by one of these sources, don’t use it.

  • National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence Certification (like American Heart Association)
  • Health On the Net (HONcode) standard for trustworthy health information (like everydayhealth.com and webmd.com)
  • Utilization Review Accreditation Committee (URAC) accredited health website (like webmd.com)

Sites and publications can claim to have physicians and nutritionists and any number of impressive sounding experts on their staff, but if they can’t say one of the credentialing bodies above has approved their content, it’s just too risky to use it.

Links. It’s okay to find a story idea anywhere. Just be sure to find the accredited content about it online and link to the accredited source….not to the unaccredited newspaper or site that gave you the idea to cover a certain subject.

Physician’s original content. Consider this approach if your physicians are not prolific writers offering you lots of original content….Find endorsed, certified content and get your physician to write a couple of sentences to talk about why the content is important for his/her patients to read. The point is, physicians needn’t write the information from scratch. They can endorse existing online content or expand on it or clarify it and that might take less content development time for them while still generating a personalized piece of content for your practice’s online presence.

Did you know?

Your practice’s website probably has a Health Information or Patient Information page. That area of your site links to a full library of URAC and HONcode approved content. Use that content, link to it and not only will you be finding content for your social media presence, you’ll be referring readers back to your practice’s website. Can’t beat that!

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