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Regional Medical System Levels Up Social Media to Build Patient and Community Bonds


University of Rochester Medical Center is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and the largest employer in upstate New York.


Rochester, NY, USA

Services Provided

  • Social media assessment
  • Metrics and reporting recommendations
  • Content strategy and content process improvements
  • Amplification strategies including influencer activation and paid social improvements
  • Ratings and reviews assessment and best practices
  • Monthly consulting to support the initiative


How does a complex organization in a regulated industry leverage social media to show the human side of patient care? URMC seeks to build personal connections with patients, faculty and staff, medical students/residents, and the upstate New York community—with vastly different communications needs—despite limited resources and competing internal priorities.

URMC recognized the opportunities of social media, but the team wanted to connect social media practices to business goals and understand how they could effectively track and report this progress consistently, across multiple hospitals, practices, and disciplines. They also wanted to understand how to better collaborate and cross-promote the content across the institution, ensuring that relevant content reaches the right audiences.


With over 26,000 employees and multiple hospitals, URMC’s sheer volume of stakeholders and priorities created challenges for consistent mobilization, resources and personalized activation. Furthermore, across the organization, there was ambiguity in terms of social media’s purpose and how to measure its success. They needed a social media strategy with a phased approach that they could successfully implement as they enhance their team and increase resources over time.


  • URMC has a reputation as a big medical system that’s hard to navigate and also may lack a compassionate, caring and welcoming culture.
  • Many people don’t understand the value of an academic medical center; they are not aware of the benefits URMC provides through research, training, and community support.
  • Healthcare is continually ranked as one of the least customer-friendly industries.
  • The overall decrease in organic social media reach means the old methods aren’t showing the results they used to achieve.


Convince & Convert performed a rigorous assessment of how the various communications teams across the institution were using content and social media differently to connect with niche audiences, and developed a unifying social media strategy, along with detailed operational recommendations.

The URMC system includes six general hospitals, the children’s hospital, a cancer center, an institute for oral health, as well as the University of Rochester medical school and school of nursing. We found that some groups were more successful at delivering audience-focused content that drove awareness and engagement, but that breaking down silos to encourage cross-team collaboration would be challenging. Our recommendations included both strategic best practices as well as process and change management approaches to systematically improve their processes.

Convince & Convert made a series of clear recommendations:

  • Focus on telling stories aligned to the three content pillars (Collaboration, Community, Outcomes) to build trust and humanize the URMC brand. This provides an objective framework for efficiently sourcing and producing stories that are not only more engaging to the audience but also paint a larger picture when viewed as a whole.
  • Activate a combination of influential voices to drive your brand narrative more effectively than your content can alone.
  • Establish a formalized employee advocacy program that arms URMC team members with content that has been created by the communication and marketing teams with the express purpose of sharing that content out to their own social communities.
  • Determine which success metrics make sense to track and implement dashboards that provide easy access to content performance data.
  • Utilize paid media dollars to not only drive clicks, but to drive awareness; nurture a pool of not-ready-to-convert audience members with targeted awareness campaigns to create a warm landing for future conversion-focused messaging.


  • Updated dashboard in social listening tools to more effectively measure content performance in real time and tie back to business objectives. Launched a new measurement system that more effectively connects messages on social with receiving job apps.
  • Refreshed paid social strategy to more effectively allocate resources for different stages of the audience journey
  • Brought together cross-departmental subject matter experts to source content aligned with their new content strategy.
Texas Exes – Alumni Association for The University of Texas
Austin, Texas USA
Services Provided
Like many alumni organizations across the country, Texas Exes saw declining engagement, challenges with hitting giving goals, and in general, had a harder time getting the attention from their target audiences. It was a good time to re-connect and re-assess alumni sentiment and needs.
Although the Texas Exes had a strong organization and following, they still faced significant challenges:
  • Generally speaking, the University of Texas at Austin has a very decentralized culture, which pervades every related organization and department.
  • Texas Exes wanted to make sure that teams used to operating independently didn’t just see this research as something for the marketing team to use in crafting giving pitches, but data that could inform and guide every area, from student outreach, to events, to fundraising and beyond.
Convince and Convert started by implementing an attitudinal survey that asked alumni how they felt about the association generally, events and benefits, as well as their feelings about their time at the University of Texas at Austin. Convince & Convert then performed a thorough analysis, developed personas, recommended strategies, and content ideas that would support the needs and desires of the alumni. One of the key findings was that the alumni’s main unmet desire was more professional interaction, including networking, mentoring and job opportunities. When COVID hit, it became clear that they had a significant opportunity not to just move events online but do so in a strategic and intentional way. Texas Exes had been in conversation with Graduway, a platform that provides a private social network with robust features, for more than a year. In six weeks, Convince & Convert helped the Texas Exes accelerate this concept, finalize their contract, and plan a launch strategy. In addition, Convince & Convert helped organize conversations beyond just Texas Exes alumni needs to include Career Services, Athletics, and a number of colleges within the university to ensure they all had some ownership in how their corner of the platform would come together.
Convince & Convert crafted plans for each of their service areas to evolve to better match the needs uncovered in the survey. Texas Exes was proud to have the most successful higher ed launch Graduway has ever experienced and are using the insights gathered from this active and engaged group to develop and refine future plans for the organization and the university. Reached 8,000+ users in four months after virtual networking space rollout.

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