Monthly Archives: May 2014

Why do teens like Instagram so much? Facebook and Rob Lowe seem to know.

Link to Rob Lowe book, Love LIfe

Rob Lowe title of book, Love LIfe

If Rob Lowe does it, it must be cool and trend-setting. The author of this new book, Love Life, recently shared from his Instagram account, this nostalgic outfit from Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks on display at 30 Rock in New York.

Seeing this just now at 30 Rock made my day!! #Dreams

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on


He is middle-aged and facile with Instagram, a social media tool, which for the first time, recently topped Facebook in use among teens.

We know why Rob Lowe is so popular. He’s funny, good-looking, starred in Parks and Rec and put Pawnee, Indiana on the map. But what about Instagram?

Like teens, he seems to understand Instagram. So does Facebook, which bought Instagram a couple of years ago for a billion dollars.   Facebook wins either way because teens continue to use FB, but just differently.

I wonder if teens grow tired of hearing old people gush on Facebook about their “special”, “gifted”, “talented”, “amazing”, “accomplished” children. Perhaps teens need a place to hide together? Maybe it’s because they can spend time with adults in the living room (Facebook) to stay in touch and find their space on Instagram by easily sharing pictures and short videos?

This article by Jennifer Van Grove of CNET digs much deeper than my shallow observations.  She illustrates the trend with this graphic by piperjaffray who wrote, Taking Stock with Teens .

Graphic of teen use of Instagram

Teens using Instagram

While Facebook prepares for the future with the next generation on Instagram, it’s making changes on the basic Facebook platform to make more money.  Not all users are happy with this, but what do they expect?  It’s free and if they want more exposure they will need to pay for more prominent placement.  Just one example of the new Facebook-we are seeing bigger ads and less organic content popping up in our news feeds, which Tech Crunch explains.

I don’t have a lot in common with Rob Lowe except our age, movie star good-looks (#sarcasm) and affinity for the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s onto something.  I think Instagram will continue to grow with early adopters like him and the next generation. So now we’ll have Instagram in common too, where I’ll try to do better than just posting about my 30 year old Sorel Boots.

The opinions expressed in this blog are my own. My Twitter handle is Ronald Petrovich.









Get Shorty Awards

In any generation the key to engaging an audience is telling a compelling story.  Today this is called branded content and branded journalism. For the sixth straight year, the Shorty Awards in New York recently recognized the best story-tellers in social media who compete on subjects that include art, entertainment, news, sport, video games and even health care. Nominees (individuals and organizations) are judged for their impact on Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, Instagram, Vine and Twitter; it pays to be facile on Twitter because candidates are nominated through Tweets.

Logo and link to Shorty Awards website

Since I work in health care, I wanted to highlight the winner in this category and demonstrate that good story-telling applies to any field. Congratulations to ZN team at hyperthinker, top-rated in the health category this year.  According to its website, Break Dengue is a branded content initiative that was created in 2013 to combat dengue fever, a global neglected disease that affects the most marginalized populations and is now found in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. A major international public health concern, the World Health Organization says that about half of the world’s population is at risk from dengue.

Break Dengue

Break Dengue

The winners  said, “With Twitter, we have taken a very different approach. @BreakDengue is not only focused on raising public awareness on dengue prevention, but also seeks out and has built many strategic relationships with dengue Key Opinion Leaders worldwide. These include experts from the pharmaceutical industry, certified medical professionals, healthcare analysts, educators, marketing professionals for the healthcare sector, activists, and other organizations that share our goal”

Here is their winning entry.


The Shorty Awards are produced by Sawhorse Media, a New York-based technology startup. Sawhorse also created and runs Muck Rack, the leading network to connect with journalists on social media.

The opinions expressed in this blog are my own. My Twitter handle is Ronald Petrovich.

Welcome to the Healthy Content Blog

picture of Ron Petrovich

picture of Ron

Welcome to the Healthy Content Blog where we’ll share thoughts on content related to social media, traditional media, journalism and health care communications.  The conversation will often feature branded journalism topics with an emphasis on multiple platform delivery and sometimes we’ll just write about cool stuff in TV and media.  The opinions are my own although I’m fortunate to work with colleagues who teach me every day in my role as manager of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media #MCCSM and Mayo Clinic News Network #MayoClinicNewsNetwork at Mayo Clinic  in Rochester, MN.

Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, I was vice president, medical news at Medstar Television, Inc., in Allentown, PA, where we produced television programs for health care organizations and the media. During that time, I also taught part-time as an adjunct instructor at DeSales University, integrating  social media and story-telling into film production courses, including this student video on job interviewing skills. The students showed me how to fearlessly embrace new technology and I helped them tell stories.

In a previous life I was a news director at several television stations. At FOX 59, a start-up in Indianapolis, we produced specials like this on saving lives in tornadoes.

Our news team told bold, visual stories and within three years of launch, we achieved the third highest demographic ratings among all FOX stations and won numerous journalism awards.

I have also been a news director at TV affiliates in Milwaukee and Saginaw, Michigan.  At every station, talented reporters, anchors, videographers, editors and producers dedicated themselves to honing their craft of telling compelling stories with pictures.  Today, everyone can do that. Tools previously reserved for media journalists are now available on mobile devices and computers for a few dollars.

Before I was lucky enough to work with these media and health care professionals, I attended Indiana University, schlepping expensive 40 pound cameras in our TV production classes. We could never have predicted this digital revolution three decades later. (Back then IU was the #1 ranked party school and tops in basketball so thinking about the future of media may not have been our priority.) 

No one can predict the future of media and health care communications in the next three months, let alone next three decades.  In the short-term however, it’s safe to say that social media, branded content and branded journalism will play an even bigger role, so we’ll do our best to discover the most interesting trends and best practices in these fields in our Healthy Content Blog.

The opinions expressed in this blog are my own. My Twitter handle is Ronald Petrovich. Twitter Logo