Is Nonprofit Status Still an Advantage for Hospitals? 3 Experts Weigh In
One of the oldest and truest axioms in consumer advertising is that the most successful and persuasive messaging finds a way to turn a feature into a benefit. Nowhere is this on greater display than in health care, and smart public relations professionals have known this for years. The fact that your hospital operates a 24-hour emergency department is a feature. The fact that “we’re here to take care of your child at 3 a.m. when you don’t know where to turn” is a benefit.
It is peculiar, then, that these same smart communicators who follow this strategy in so much of their daily messaging often find it challenging to apply an equivalent approach when talking about their not-for-profit status. While most nonprofits are very conscious to always include the words “nonprofit” or “not-for-profit” in their boilerplate description, many do a poor job of explaining precisely what that means in a way that is meaningful and compelling to their audience.
Are they missing a chance for differentiation and, if so, how can not-for-profit institutions turn their legal status into a competitive advantage as it relates to attracting patients, medical staff, and employees?
Given the reality that most health care is covered by a third-party payer, do consumers even factor the hospital’s status into their equation when choosing a provider? And given our age of cynicism and diminished trust in the health care system, will people take the time to listen and ultimately believe what the hospital has to say on this topic?
In a new article, we share perspectives from three veteran strategic communications and business development professionals with widely differing views on the subject:
- Peggy Frank, CEO of Frank Public Relations
- Travis Dray, director of business development at Mid-Columbia Medical Center
- Hans Eckardt, marketing strategist and former corporate vice president of marketing and strategic communications for SCAN Health Plan.
Read the full article to get their key insights on whether nonprofit status is still an advantage for hospitals and why the tides may be turning: What Does It Even Mean Be a “Nonprofit” Hospital Anymore?