TV spots

When To Downplay the News of a Name Change

Laura Pierce, manager of marketing and communications, Tufts Children’s Hospital

“In some cases, letting your ads ignore the news about [your hospital’s] name change can be a smarter move than headlining it,” notes SHCM contributor and veteran copywriter Peter Hochstein. While this may seem hard to believe, he makes his case with the real-life story of the hospital formerly known as the Floating Hospital for Read More

How To Convince Patients It’s Safe — and Smart — To Return

Lewis Clark, vice president of marketing/media/public relations, Deborah Heart and Lung Center

At the Deborah Heart and Lung Center in southern New Jersey, the task of letting patients know it was safe and even wise to return evolved into a multimedia effort. The campaign has been paying off with a substantial increase in patient visits. In Peter Hochstein’s new story, he explains how they’re doing it. Here’s Read More

Los Angeles Archrivals Team Up for the Greater Good

Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D., president of Rhoda Weiss Consulting Group, and co-chair, Becker’s Healthcare 11th Annual Meeting Virtual Experience

Los Angeles is home to many world-class health care organizations, and they compete vigorously for the same patients. But even in a competitive market, joining together for the greater good may be the best way to get an important message across to the community. “It became apparent early on that people were not accessing health Read More

“Care Bravely”: Rallying Cry for LifeBridge Health

// By Richard Cohen // One of the central issues when a health care organization acquires other hospitals or entities on the care continuum is how to get all the employees from its disparate parts on message. This was something that the folks at the Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health took to heart several years ago after Read More

Effective Campaign Features Kids as Fighting Champions

Shira Pollard, PR & Marketing Manager, VCU Health System

“Nothing triggers an emotional reaction like watching someone trying to resist it. There’s a kids’ game in which the object is to stare at all the other kids and try to make one of them laugh while they resist. Trying not to laugh usually ended with an explosion of giggles all around,” notes veteran copywriter Read More

“What Goes On in That New Building?” VCU Health Offers a Soft-Sell Explanation with Equal Parts Nostalgia, Induced Guilt, and Romantic Playfulness

Susan Dubuque, principal, NDP

// By Peter Hochstein // Can simple charm compete for share-of-mind in a hot health care marketplace? Yes, if the charm is really charming enough. Here’s how it works in Richmond, Virginia. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen a bicycle treated so callously. It stands in a dusty garage, surrounded by other carelessly Read More

Expressions of Rage? Or Inspirational Pep Talks? Whatever You Call Them, Hospital Ads with an Aggressive Stance Could Make Your Market Sit Up and Take Notice

Brad Fixler, vice president of marketing at University of Colorado Health

Notable Health Care Advertising // By Peter Hochstein // Fighting words and images may be just the thing some hospitals need to break through the miasma of inattention. In an upcoming issue of this publication, a fellow contributor, James A. Gardner, will write about a campaign for the Canadian pediatric hospital, Sick Kids. The campaign Read More

What Can Negativity Do for Your Advertising? At the University of Rochester Medical Center, Talking About “The Bad Stuff” Is Doing Lots of Good

Peter Hochstein

Notable Health Care Advertising // By Peter Hochstein // Here’s a powerful technique for building emotion into your advertising. If you dare to use it. Advertisers in almost any business — and the advertising agencies that service them — usually hate negativity. They look for emphasis on the upbeat. They like to portray, as the Read More

Getting Emotional — In an Understated Way — Helps a Hospital with a Good, Strong Reputation Stand Up to Another Hospital with a Good, Strong Reputation

Peter Hochstein

How do you stand out in the crowd — especially when your #1 competitor is a world-famous brand? Pamela Maas, Gundersen’s chief business development and marketing officer, was able to overcome this challenge. “It seemed like so many systems in health care were looking and feeling exactly the same,” she says. “We recognized that brand positioning was really about building an emotional connection with consumers.” In Peter’s latest column, we’ll see how a new campaign triggered a deluge of fan mail — accolades from patients who had been touched by Gundersen staff members.