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San Diego State University

Fowler College of
Business Administration

Intellectual Contribution

Attitudes on the use of social media in healthcare communications
Popović, K., Smith, D. C., Hellebusch, S. J.
Type of Research
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Date Published
2013, Before July
Contribution Type
Contributions to practice (applied research)
Contribution Category
Publication Title
Journal of Communication in Healthcare
Maney Publishing
Philadelphia, PA
Page Number(s)
Social media has become a mainstay of communication between business-to-business and business-to-consumer endeavors. However, lacking is a fair and balanced discussion of the risks and benefits of utilization and implementation, in particular, within healthcare communications. Our research objective is to assess current attitudes of healthcare, pharmaceutical, and life sciences executives on the topic. We conducted an online survey with 107 people from varying positions and perspectives within these industries. From CEO to CIO, from Marketing Director to Brand Manager, respondents are active in their positions, serve primarily the United States, and provide diversity to our sample. When asked about whether or not marketers should be permitted to use social media to promote their products and services to the public, most were positive: •. Very few believe the Food and Drug Administration is doing an adequate monitoring job or has the resources it needs. •. About half agree with the practice of monitoring social media sites to understand patient needs, concerns, and perceptions. •. Very few believe social media marketing has been transparent and responsible. •. When assessing social media sites, YouTube ranks as most acceptable. •. It appears companies wanting to utilize these platforms should be prepared to manage the complexities of this channel.