Public Relations

Murder in the ICU: How To Manage a Crisis from a Human and PR Perspective

This may not be what hospital communicators signed on to deal with, but it can — and did — happen. How would you handle the ensuing human and PR crisis? On September 12, 2017, a Rhode Island man drove up to Lebanon, New Hampshire, and entered the intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where his mother was recovering from an aneurysm. According to news reports and indictments filed against him, the man asked for some time alone with his mother. Once they were alone, he allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot her four times, killing her.

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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.

Let’s Go Blue: University of Michigan Health System Ad Campaign Hits Powerful Notes

Dave Brudon, director of marketing (retired), Michigan Medicine

“Last month, this column dealt with two advertising campaigns that you’d never guess were for hospitals — at least not until the last few seconds when a hospital logo appeared,” says copywriter and Strategic Health Care Marketing contributor Peter Hochstein. “In recent years, marketing people I’ve interviewed at hospitals and their advertising agencies have more or Read More

Ramp Up Your Internal Marketing: 8 Tips for Success

Terri McNorton, chief marketing communications officer at Bon Secours Health System

When is the last time you received from your employer an email or text so enticing you wanted to open it right away? Most likely, the answer is “never.” That’s because most employee communications are talking at you or providing you with information they want you to have, but they somehow miss the boat entirely Read More

How To Turn a Clinic Opening Into a PR Windfall

chnola-logo

In today’s hectic world, it’s the little things that matter, especially when it comes to making life a bit more convenient. And when this convenience brings tangible benefits to families with young kids, including those with chronic medical needs, it can be enough to spark a compelling public relations angle that has real traction. When Children’s Read More

A Texas Health System Spreads The Word Via Facebook Live

Abbey Lee, director of marketing and business development at Bay Area Regional Medical Center

Bay Area Regional Medical Center, in Webster, Texas, first opened its doors in July 2014. As an independent facility in the Houston Bay Area not affiliated with any larger systems or networks, it had to work hard at first to establish its reputation in an already crowded market. “Initially the goal was to find a Read More

Awards Programs Can Heighten Your Profile and Reputation

Dana Levin-Robinson, chief of staff at VirtualHealth

Competing for — and winning — awards can be an important part of your health care organization’s marketing strategy. Awards can help you raise awareness about your service lines, driving new business; recognize individual employees as leaders, improving staff morale and elevating performance standards; and promote your organization as a stellar workplace, helping to attract Read More

Prize-Winning Strategy: Using Award Programs to Spotlight Your Accomplishments

Dana Levin-Robinson, chief of staff at VirtualHealth

// By Lisa D. Ellis // Competing for — and winning — awards can be an important part of your health care organization’s marketing strategy. Awards can help you raise awareness about your service lines, driving new business; recognize individual employees as leaders, improving staff morale and elevating performance standards; and promote your organization as Read More

Leverage Current Events To Promote Your Health Care Organization’s Offerings

Wonder Movie Poster

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. “We do Read More

National Happenings Open the Door to Promote Dayton Children’s Local Offerings

Dayton Children’s Logo

// 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 Read More

Using “Real” Staff to Deliver Your Video Messages? Here’s How to Make the Messages More Engaging

Peter Hochstein

Notable Health Care Advertising // By Peter Hochstein // Any number of hospitals post videos on the internet featuring their doctors and other staff discussing their institutions and specialties. Too often, these standup “talking head” presentations feel unspontaneous and uncomfortable. Eyes shift nervously as speakers obviously read from cue cards. Language that looked good on Read More

Looking To Boost Your Health Care Brand? Consider Audio.

The Scope - University of Utah Health Radio - Logo

Have you incorporated audio content in your health care communications strategy? If not, you could be missing an opportunity to engage prospective patients who live in your service communities, and to position your organization as a leader to referring physicians across the country. While some health systems dabble in producing radio content and developing podcasts Read More

Strong Audio Strategy Can Boost Your Health Care Brand in New Ways

Kathy-Wilets-director-media-relations-content-marketing-UUH-square

// By Lisa D. Ellis // Have you incorporated audio content in your health care communications strategy? If not, you could be missing an opportunity to engage prospective patients who live in your service communities, and to position your organization as a leader to referring physicians across the country. Learn how one health system leads Read More

Omaha Hospital Celebrates Its Storied Past in New Marketing Campaign

Jenni Stoll, senior director of marketing for Methodist Health System

What’s old is new again at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. Methodist recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, and this milestone provided a valuable opportunity for the health system to build on its past to position itself for the future. While most health care systems pride themselves on being ahead of the curve when it comes Read More

Silicon Valley: Where You Can Call Potential Patients “Nerds”

Veteran copywriter and regular SHCM contributor Peter Hochstein suggests an interesting proposition: “Run some hospital advertising that flat out calls your potential patients nerds. Nah, come to think of it, that probably wouldn’t work, and might prompt some irate letters to your CEO. Well then, how about offering advice that sounds financial, and encourages people to ‘go Read More

Journalist Draws From His Own Frustrations to Create Expert-Source Matching Tool; Benefits for Health Care Marketing Teams

Stavros Rougas, co-founder, Expertise Finder

// By Lisa D. Ellis // Today’s latest expert-source matching tools can be a valuable part of any health care organization’s marketing strategy. One such expert-matching service called Expertise Finder was formed by a former journalist to help writers and media outlets find researchers and other experts with specific knowledge and data to share. Services Read More

CRMs Present Fundraising Opportunities—and Challenges

Lisa D. Ellis

When most people think of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it’s usually in the context of service line promotion and prospecting for patients. But CRMs present similar opportunities and challenges for fundraising, too. The most effective health system fundraising campaigns focus time and effort building personal relationships with perspective donors. But for many health care organizations Read More

Integrated Cloud-Based CRMs Open Doors with Major Donors

Lisa D. Ellis

// By Lisa D. Ellis // When most people think of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it’s usually in the context of service line promotion and prospecting for patients. But CRMs also present similar opportunities and challenges for fundraising, too. Here’s how two health systems recently used CRM and data-related services and tools to strengthen their Read More

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