Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City Infuses Faith with Social Media

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City Infuses Faith with Social Media

Article excerpt

Any organization's marketing campaign requires a strategy and conversations about everything from research to branding.

To achieve that, St. Anthony Hospital relies on its faith.

Since the hospital observed its centennial in 1999, faith and prayer have increasingly played a role in its advertising, including television commercials featuring the music of local singer Jami Smith. This holiday season, St. Anthony has continued the trend with a new TV jingle and its entry into social media with a Web site in which physicians, nurses and others share their stories of faith and its role in a hospital setting.

That site, sharetheprayer.tv, builds on the success of the hospital's "prayer ads," said Sandra Payne, vice president of marketing and communications.

"We wanted a specific purpose and message to initiate our social media presence around," she said. "We have had tremendous support from the community and positive response when we run the prayer ads; they tell what we stand for at St. Anthony. That was the idea - launching our social media presence around prayer."

The practice of prayer is not unfamiliar to St. Anthony employees. Many doctors and nurses pray with their patients, Payne said, and seek guidance for procedures, a practice that has continued since Franciscan nuns founded the hospital. But asking employees to film videos talking about their faith was a new step.

"It was universally accepted," Payne said," although there was a little apprehension at first. Seventy-five of our employees volunteered to film videos over two days. They spoke from their hearts, which comes through when a camera is in front of you."

In addition to the videos, the site features a blog, a place for prayer requests and options for visitors to tell their stories. When people submit prayer requests, they go to the hospital's pastoral care team and to a group of employees who have volunteered to pray. St. Anthony doctors featured on the site are Bobby Rader, Rick Boothe and Brad Marion, and several community leaders soon will be featured, including Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Councilwoman Meg Salyer. …

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