Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of the Arts
School of Communication and Media
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Hospitals--Public relations, Nonprofit organizations--Public relations, Social media
Healthcare is a multi-faceted and complex organizational and social issue that affects many stakeholders (e.g., the ill, family, care taker, health institutions, etc.). Little research has examined how healthcare providers engaged with their targeted audiences on various social media. This thesis examined how nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in the healthcare industry use social media as a dialogic means to strategically engage with their stakeholders. This study conducted content analysis of the social media messages by four nonprofit research hospitals: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Lovejoy and Saxton’s (2012) “Information, Community, and Action” typology was adopted to probe the function and impact of their online communication. Highlights of the major findings included the following. First, the four hospitals use social media effectively. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute stood-out from their practice of rewording content. Second, Facebook was the preferred social media platform by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital stakeholders. Third, three hospitals (i.e., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) used Twitter to interact with audience during live symposiums and events. This study provided significant findings that can be instrumental to guide healthcare organizations to engage key stakeholders on social media in order to build quality relationships.
Calivas, Demitra C., "An Exploratory Study of Social Media Use Among Nonprofit Hospitals" (2015). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 369.