National Happenings Open the Door to Promote Dayton Children’s Local Offerings
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
When the movie Wonder was released in fall 2017, sharing the fictional story of a fifth-grader named Auggie coping with a facial difference called Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), Dayton Children’s Hospital saw this as an exciting opportunity to raise awareness about groundbreaking treatments offered for children with TCS through its own Craniofacial Center.
Using National Stories Strategically
“We do news tracking and we try to take current events like this and localize them in this way,” explains Stacy Porter, public relations manager for Dayton Children’s in Dayton, Ohio. In fact, as an independent hospital sandwiched between two larger-scale academic health systems, Dayton’s marketing staff must be nimble to find — and respond — to whatever viable opportunities come their way.
Porter says that such chances to be involved in national conversations are a valuable way for Dayton Children’s to get more name recognition locally, as well to extend its reach beyond the service area and let people know about the experts performing innovative treatments right in Dayton.
“We recently took a look at what our differentiator is, and we realized it’s that we are focused on the children. Everything we do revolves around the children. That is our brand and we say it in the marketing department but also live it, too, through everything we do,” Porter says.
National news and happenings provide opportunities for health care organizations to join the conversation and add their own localized voice.
Identifying Other Assets
Dayton Children’s strong focus on brand, and on putting children first, has proven to be a very effective recruiting tool, attracting clinical experts from larger competitors who wanted to be in a smaller organization where they could focus more fully on their work, says Deborah Scheetz, service line marketing director at Dayton Children’s. She points out that about 80 clinicians have recently joined Dayton’s staff, further strengthening the full range of expertise it offers for patients with a variety of health needs and diagnoses.
In fact, the timing of the Wonder premiere was particularly auspicious for Dayton Children’s because its Craniofacial Center, which treats children with a variety of facial differences, recently hired Christopher Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAP, a world-renowned surgeon who specializes in treating TCS and who pioneered a new surgical procedure in this area.
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