Healthcare staff are encouraged to use feedback from their patients to inform service and quality improvement. Receiving patient feedback via online channels is a relatively new phenomenon that has rarely been conceptualised. Further, the implications of a wide, varied and unknown(able) audience being able to view and interact with online patient feedback are yet to be understood. We applied a theoretical lens of dramaturgy to a large ethnographic dataset, collected across three NHS Trusts during 2019/2020. We found that organisations demonstrated varying levels of ‘preparedness to perform’ online, from invisibility through to engaging in public conversation with patients within a wider mission for transparency. Restrictive ‘cast lists’ of staff able to respond to patients was the hallmark of one organisation, whereas another devolved responding responsibility amongst a wide array of multidisciplinary staff. The visibility of patient-staff interactions had the potential to be culturally disruptive, dichotomously invoking either apprehensions of reputational threat or providing windows of opportunity. We surmise that a transparent and conversational feedback response frontstage aligns with the ability to better prioritise backstage improvement. Legitimising the autonomous frontstage activity of diverse staff groups may help shift organisational culture, and gradually ripple outwards a shared responsibility for transparent improvement.