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5/8/09news article

Dayton Children's jumps feet first in to the social networking world

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube usage on the rise in health care

Many organizations are asking themselves how they can successfully incorporate social networking as part of their overall marketing plan. 

Dayton Children's asked the same questions - how can we use social media to connect with employees, potential donors, existing donors, patients and families, the local community and beyond? 

The answer? To use FacebookTwitterYou Tube and to reach out, build relationships, provide expert advice and have two-way communication.
They have made it easy for people to connect, stay in touch, and express their opinions. 

Last December, Dayton Children's launched a Facebook fan page to its internal employees only. Since December, its fan base has jumped to over 500 fans, 83 percent of which are female and 31 percent of those are females ages 25 to 34. 

"We started out by communicating our message internally only, asking employees to become a fan of our page first," said Betsy Woods, public relations and marketing manager at Dayton Children's. "I think our employees are excited to see us venture out and try new things." 

"Then we asked our employees to invite their friends and family to become a fan and the momentum started. The response has been very positive overall. We are seeing a new way to interact, especially with patient families." 

The marketing communications and development departments share the responsibilities of posting news, event information, updates, fundraising and volunteering opportunities, safety related information, photographs and videos. 

information is easily and quickly shared by the click of a button.

Fans can respond to posts and post their own comments about Dayton Children's. One mom from Kettering wrote, "Thank you Children's Medical Center of Dayton hematology/oncology unit for the first-class care and priority you have given our daughter and our family since her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia high risk." 

Supporters can even make an online donation on Dayton Children's cause page. Over 800 fans are part of the cause on Facebook. One mom from Dayton writes, "I can't say enough about the hospital and the wonderful staff." 

"Once we saw that our Facebook fan page was successful, we decided to launch a page for our mascot Wally B. Bear," said Woods. "Wally is a cute, cuddly koala bear that can be seen at a lot of our community events. We wanted to give Wally a personality and let everyone know what he is up to and where he can next be seen." 

Wally's page is gaining popularity. He now has over 200 friends and has the inside scoop about what is going on at Dayton Children's. 

In late March, Dayton Children's launched its Twitter page as another avenue to send its message, educate the public, reach its target audience and network with other organizations. With over 650 followers and growing, Tweets include everything from safety recalls, the latest topics moms are talking about to fundraising events. Follow Dayton Children's at

"Twitter is another way to connect with people - whether they're in Dayton or across the country. Dayton Children's is looked to as the pediatric expert," said Woods.

One mom from Dayton recently tweeted, "@DaytonChildrens My kid just spent a week there! You all rock so hard. There's a special place in heaven for you!" 

Safe Kids Greater Dayton, the childhood injury prevention organization led by Dayton Children's, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. 

Dayton Children's has had a YouTube channel for over a year. Patient stories, TV commercials, videos and news stories are uploaded for everyone to view with a click of the mouse. Videos can be found at

Bottom line, conversations have been started, issues have been quickly addressed and questions have been answered all via social networking. It's a whole new world.

For more information, contact: 
Marketing Communications Department 
Phone: 937-641-3666

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