Named as the world’s first global blogging site, The Hippocratic Post specialises in medical issues that relate to medical professionals and students. Having established itself as a leader in its field, The Hippocratic Post features blog posts from some of the world’s most prominent medical professionals, including professors from Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and UCLA. In this spotlight, Thea Jourdan, one of the founding directors of The Hippocratic Post chats to us about the different campaigns they have worked on, what it’s like to have their blogs become trending reads on the MailOnline, and why PRs need to think visually when it comes to blogger outreach.
Why should people read your blog and what makes it different? The Hippocratic Post is the world’s first global blog on medical issues. Since we launched in March 2016, we have covered health-related stories all over the globe, from asthma to the zika virus and everything in-between. We have hundreds of eminent bloggers from the world of academia, research, policy and clinical practice and we have teamed up with organisations including Doctors without Borders, the British Council and One Young World to ensure that we have maximum coverage of the stories that matter. We have vlogs and blogs and encourage debate across borders with our ‘versus’ franchise which asks experts to look at a topic from different perspectives. All our blogs are editorialised and ‘commissioned’ so there is a definite news agenda and the content is accessible. We also run Hippocratic Post debates with partners including the London Press Club and the Institute of Directors.
How do you measure the success of your website? We have over 100,000 users since we launched and have around 8000 in a good week, mostly drawn from the medical and healthcare world – 20 per cent are from the US and many more visit from Australia, China and other parts of Europe. Many of our blogs have been top trending reads on MailOnline’s health channel – reaching a potential audience of 200m people.
We have had excellent feedback from medics and academics as well as pharma companies and researchers who see us as a trusted source of reliable information and views. Professor Richard Moxon, the founder of the Oxford Vaccine Group, commented: ‘The blog seems an excellent forum and very well organised.’
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Go for it! You can use simple online tools to get started and create a dynamic interactive blog. Think about who you are talking to and make your blogs relevant to your audience. What makes your blog different from everyone else’s? Don’t be too hung up on blogging every day – once or twice a week of good thoughtful content should be enough to keep your followers coming back for more.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? We have been involved with various different campaigns since we launched including Diabetes Week and Listen to Your Lungs with the British Lung Foundation. We also work regularly with comms teams at most of the major teaching hospitals and academic institutions. The Royal Society of Medicine, the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and the British Council all suggest bloggers and work with us on promoting events and conferences. We are happy to talk to PR representatives about their clients and will make editorial decisions about inclusion of bloggers. There are also opportunities for advertising on the site and sponsorship of our awards, The Hippocratic Post Awards for Medical Student Journalism at City University, London, and our debates.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges? We use Facebook, Twitter and Google + to share and boost our blogs to our chosen audience and find that these are good ways to reach out to people who are interested in this field, whether they are medics or savvy consumers. We also ask our partners to share, tweet and boost our blogs that relate to them. The challenges are ensuring that we time our social media messages to audiences around the world and continue to broaden our appeal.
What can PRs do in working better with you? We would like PRs to think about ways that they can tie in blogs with major awareness events throughout the year and give us some notice of campaigns. Make sure that bloggers are happy to have content used on the MailOnline as well as HipPost. We have also had blogs reproduced in publications around the world. Be a bit creative and think visually too. We are keen to have podcasts and vlogs for our Youtube channel.
What has been your blogging highlight? There has been so many but I think it was pretty cool when we had three top trending stories on MailOnline and thousands of shares when we covered Dr Aseem Malhotra’s view on the sugar tax two days before the then-Chancellor announced he was going to impose a tax on fizzy drinks. We also had a blog from one of the main witnesses of a Meningitis B vaccine programme while the subject was being discussed in committee in Parliament and an insight from a Buddhist monk-turned medical aid worker assisting earthquake survivors in Nepal.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? Look out for our Hippocratic Post awards for student medical journalism launching this academic year at City University in London. We will be awarding prizes in five categories including the Carole Stone CBE Prize for mental health journalism and Big Data and Infographics. We are looking for individual sponsors to support these awards. Get in touch for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org