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Realizing the potential of new media

One of the most crucial aspects of a hospital's marketing campaign is word-of-mouth marketing, and the soaring popularity of social-networking sites and alternative media means that hospitals across the country are using virtual megaphones to reach their intended audiences. The Internet has grown from its humble roots as an information source into a potentially massive, interactive marketing device as more and more hospitals reap the rewards of Web 2.0. According to Kathy Divis, president of Atlanta-based, social-networking sites are enjoying unprecedented popularity as part of a new, more interactive face of the Internet.