Show them ours…

Primary Care Training - I think they're all Jeremy Hunts-01

The Duchess said; ‘There is something good in everything, you just have to find it’.

The Tory election ‘thing’ is a bit of a challenge… something good?

Well, Mum was right. There is. Well, maybe not ‘good’. More, interesting.

The interesting thing? The way some candidates have used social media, to get noticed… get traction.

Rory Stewart was particularly adept. He went from a 100-1 outsider to second place in public-polling. No way he could have done that without the lever of SoMe.

PR guru, Dan Slee, has an interesting read about how he managed it.

Stewart’s technique, wobbly live-video in the cinéma vérité genre, looked authentic. The fact he was walking, sent the signal he was approachable, accessible, even vulnerable.

‘Come and talk’, he said and they did. It worked. His reach was amazing.

Now, there are two candidates. Jeremy Hunt had a very successful evening, with a live Twitter chat. He posted pictures, lap-top on his knees, hammering away at the keyboard. Answering for himself.

He took questions head-on, very frankly. Here’s one killer exchange;

Questioner: What do you say to people who deliberately mispronounce your surname?

Hunt: They are all Jeremy Hunts.


Jeremy Hunt has been on Twitter throughout the campaign, #hastobehunt telling us where he has been and where he is going, live video, plus answering questions on the hoof.

He has made much better use of his 182k Twitter followers than Boris Johnson has made of his 613k… he’s hardly appeared.

The Tories live stream their hustings on Facebook, reaching their membership beyond the venue and the general public.

Contrast all this with a recent experience…

I was on a ward, at a Trust. They were doing amazing things. ‘Put it on Twitter’, I said. ‘Share it!’

No… the Trust didn’t allow anyone to Tweet. Hence, nothing got shared.

Nurses in charge of lives, complex care, administering drugs… not trusted with Twitter… .gimmestrength.

How many Trusts and other NHS places have FaceBook accounts? How many of them live stream; meetings, board meetings, informal get togethers.

How many Trust bosses use SoMe to tell us what they are doing, how things are going, what their plans are?

Aaron Cummins CEO at Morecambe Bay, is very good and so are his senior team. Sarah-Jane Marsh, Boss-of-Brum, gives us insights into her family life and meaningful days. Plus, the occasional brutal-frankness.

I’m sure there are others but in the round, they’ll be a minority.

How many bosses post a video saying I’ll be in the canteen this afternoon, come and say hello.

How many Trusts can even text a message, direct, to every member of staff?

Has anyone taken an iPhone onto a ward and invited a patient to say how they found things and live streamed it to the Trust FaceBook page?

I’ve never seen an interview with a nurse coming off a shift? Knackered, happy, fulfilled, cross, emotional… pleased I chose nursing.

Hospital food? Anyone live-streaming from a kitchen showing fresh ingredients or talking to a patient eating a meal?

A&E full? Put a picture on Twitter. Yes, you can take picture of the backs of heads.

Why so tight lipped? We have good tales to tell and social media is free. The perfect combination.

NHSE has this; ‘Social media and attributable digital content policy’. It reads like a script from Chernobyl. Trusts have copied it.

They all are similarly sinister; ‘of course we can’t stop you saying things but if you do, the roof will fall on your head’.

It’s not a policy, it’s an omertà.

Trusts, NHSE, NHSI and the DH tell, tell, tell. We must learn to talk, talk, talk.

Flu jabs? Live video; Duncan Selby, Ruth May, the CMO, Trust bosses in a queue with front line staff… ‘I’ve had mine, now you have yours…’

People trust real people. Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary… mmm. Jeremy Hunt having a laugh at his own expense, makes him real.

What would happen if we trusted people and had a policy that said;

Say what you like as long as it’s honest, legal and decent. If something’s bad tell us first, let us fix it. Otherwise show us the good stuff.

If politicians can use SoMe to show the public their stuff, we should show them ours.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.