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Social Business at Kaiser Permanente: Using Social Tools to Improve Customer Service, Research and Internal Collaboration

An interview with David Kiron and Vince Golla.
Social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook have helped Kaiser Permanente the nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider — grow its positive media mentions close to 500% in the last five years, says Vince Golla, who oversees the organization’s external digital reputation.
As director of digital media and syndication for the national public relations team of Kaiser Permanente, a $44 billion hospital and health plan group headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Vince Golla helps train and direct the organization’s PR people and physicians to use social media smarter.
From counseling the people behind more than 100 Kaiser Permanente Twitter accounts to analyzing social media to see what customers are happy and angry about, “the foundation of my work is to help folks understand that when they are engaging in a social media conversation on behalf of our brand, it is intergalactic and travels at the speed of light,” Golla says.
Golla spoke with David Kiron, executive editor of Innovation Hubs at MIT Sloan Management Review, about how Twitter helped the company find an eventual audience of over a million people for an event that was only attended in person by a couple hundred, how the company’s internal intranet IdeaBook is changing the way employees communicate, and how Facebook helped reassure customers during a blackout that the company was open for business.

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