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How the California HealthCare Foundation Uses Mobile to Boost Social Media Engagement

According to findings from the Communications Network’s 2011 State of Practice report, digital communications are on the rise in foundations.  As part of an effort to spotlight some different examples of how foundation communicators are making use of new technologies, we’re starting a series of video check-ins. 

In our first offering, Communications Network contributor Susan Herr chatted with Spencer Sherman, director of publishing and communications for the California HealthCare Foundation, whose foundation was one of the first to create an iPhone app.

In the following segment — one of three parts, Spencer explains that even though the foundation was an early adopter, mobile wasn’t so much as a new frontier as an extension of broader efforts to more deeply engage stakeholders through new social media tactics.

More Mobile, More Engagement from Communications Network on Vimeo.

In the second part of his interview, Spencer elaborates upon what he sees as the increasingly strong relationship between social engagement and mobile communications.  In a nutshell, people who engage in real-time through social media are also constantly checking in through their mobile devices.

This coincides with new research that during the past six months, average users are spending more time using mobile apps than accessing the web via desktop devices.   According to this report, it’s not that we are spending more time on our mobile devices but that we are checking in more often.

In this final segment, Spencer describes how he’s arming and supporting program staff to become more fully in engaged the foundation’s use of social media.  After admitting his early resistance to the prospect, this is one voice from the field that appears fully committed.

What has been your organization’s experiences using mobile, especially to increase your social media outreach. Any lessons or observations to share? Let us know.

–Bruce Trachtenberg


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