Media is everyone’s job. This is just one of the insights Bob Szafranski shared with a room full of attendees at this year’s SHSMD Annual Conference in Chicago. As a senior vice president at public relations powerhouse Edelman, he’s worked with numerous healthcare organizations to help them tell stories that get picked up by the media.
So what’s the secret to the perfect pitch? Here’s some tips of what to include in your news release:
- Data: Be able to back up what you’re saying. What’s new? What’s improved?
- Drama: You have to humanize and personalize the story. Be aware of privacy issues, but do your best to include a patient element.
- Dimension: Figure out if this is a local or national story and package accordingly. Remember, not every story is a national story but don’t underestimate the potential of your pitch. Many national news outlets have weekly or daily health reports or health sections online and they need content.
It can be hard to find the right doctor.
And let’s face it, people are pretty picky. Some care about gender. Others care about age. Some care about where the doctor went to school. Or if the doctor has a MD after his name or a DO.
And some care about all of the above.
So how do you help these picky health consumers in your community connect with one of your doctors? With an awesome online physician directory!
Content is one of the biggest pieces of a hospital’s website. It’s also one of the most overlooked.
If done well, your content will help you acquire new site visitors, educate your community, and persuade them to seek out your services.
If done poorly, your content can leave site visitors looking to your competitor for answers.
How do you take your content from weakness to asset? Geonetric’s Vice President Ben Dillon has the answers.
In his Ask the Expert column “How Do I Best Create Valuable Website Content?,” which appeared in the April 2013 issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, Ben details how to use content to build awareness of your organization and encourage people to act.
Using best practice examples from heavy-hitting organizations like National Jewish Health and HCA’s Capital Division, Dillon showcases how to make sure your content achieves your online goals.
He even goes a step further and gives tips for making the most of third-party health content libraries and explains what to look for when hiring outside writers.
Check out the article and get started on the path to content excellence.
Wondering what kind of mobile website you should build?
I’ve got some news for you. You already have a mobile site. Whether you think about it as mobile or not, the site your hospital has right now is being accessed by smartphones and tablets.
What kind of experience are those site visitors having?
If you’re not sure, it’s time to make mobile a priority. You have two main options for presenting online content to your growing mobile market. The first option is to create a mobile-optimized site that is separate from your main website. The second option is to have one website built using responsive design, which allows it to adapt to different screen sizes.
Both options are better than not having any mobile-optimized presence; but choosing one path for your mobile future is important.
Geonetric’s Vice President Ben Dillon gives you all the information you need to make this tough decision in his latest article “Choosing Your Mobile Future” which appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Spectrum.
Ben goes into detail on the two options, explaining the advantages of each. He even showcases a great example of each – Methodist Medical Center of Illinois mobile-optimized site and Altru Health System’s responsive website.
So if you’re not sure how to choose your website’s mobile future, start reading!
You’ve invested in social media. You have an active Twitter and Facebook account. Then it happens. The dreaded negative comment. What do you do?
Well, according to our own Ben Dillon and his SHSMD U co-presenter Dean Browell you respond. And quickly.
In their article “Debunking Five Social Media Myths” which appeared in the July/August issue of SHSMD’s Spectrum, they explain the key is to have a social media response policy in place so you don’t get caught up in the emotion of the moment. With a strong policy and an empowered social media team, you’ll be able to act quickly and resolve the issue.
And as a result you’ll actually strengthen your brand.
They go on to provide some helpful tips on what to do when you receive a negative comment:
- Respond promptly and let your commenter (and others) know you’re listening and you care
- Let them know you’ll escalate the situation if necessary
- Take actual conversations about the patient and their specific situation offline
- Remain calm and professional – how you respond reflects on the organization more than the original comment
Looking for more social media advice? Check out the article. In it Ben and Dean expose other myths that may be holding back your social media efforts. Myths like… social media isn’t trackable. Or is it? You’ll have to read the article to find out.
Here at Geonetric we’re big fans of Chris Bevolo’s book Joe Public Doesn’t Care About Your Hospital. So I was excited when Ben reached out to Chris in his article Embracing Wellness Online featured in the July/August 2012 issue of Healthcare Strategy Alert! In the article, Ben and Chris explain how too often what hospitals market is sick care not healthcare – and they discuss how much of an opportunity there is for marketing wellness.
Ben goes on to discuss how to leverage the Web to build awareness for wellness programs and features case studies from a few of our clients, including: Owensboro Medical Health System, Owensboro, KY; Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Healthplex® Sports Club, Springfield, PA; Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Bellevue, WA; and Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, IL.
From promoting fitness facilities to sponsoring 5Ks, these organizations are pros at using the Web, social media and even QR codes to connect with their communities. They’re establishing relationships with people that might not need a doctor or typical hospital services. And as an added benefit, they’re reinforcing their commitment to building healthier local communities.
Check out the article and learn how to leverage the Web and social media platforms to build awareness for your organization’s wellness initiatives.
The mobile landscape is changing fast. And I mean fast. New approaches will probably emerge before you even get done reading this blog post. Ok, maybe not that fast.
All teasing aside, it’s hard to know which way to go when it comes to mobile. Do you build a separate mobile site for your hospital? Should you look into this whole responsive design thing? And what about apps? Are they worth the time and resources to develop?
Not to worry – Geonetric’s Ben Dillon has the answers you’re looking for. In his latest article What are the Top Mobile Considerations Today? Published in the June 2012 issue of eHealthcare Strategy and Trends, Ben’s Ask the Expert column illustrates the shifts in the mobile landscape that have created this prefect storm and why it’s more important than ever to jump on the mobile bandwagon.
Through healthcare-specific case studies and interviews with digital strategists at Dean Clinic in Madison, WI, St. Vincent’s HealthCare in Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, Ben also discusses how to select the right information architecture and content for a mobile site, how to market to mobile users, and when and how to use apps.
Be sure to check out the article soon and start planning your mobile plan of attack. Because as Ben points out, when it comes to mobile, change is the only constant!
To do lists. We all have them. And we all have those projects that – although really cool – seem to get pushed farther and farther down the list.
At Geonetric, we came up with an inventive way to tackle some of those projects. It’s called innovation time, and roughly modeled after Google’s famous 20 percent time and Atlassian’s ShipIt Days. But like everything we adopt here, we Geo-fied it a little bit.
Innovation time gives each team a set amount of time every quarter to focus on whatever we want. Pretty cool, right? Here’s eight hours. Go innovate.
So off go the project managers to bring efficiency to a process in need. Off go the designers to set up a fun photo shoot. Off go the interactive marketers to make infographics. And then everyone shares their innovation time deliverables at a company meeting and we all ohhh! and ahhh!
One of the best parts about innovation time is that cross-department collaboration is encouraged. I’m all for breaking down silos, so when I was invited to join our content strategists and content writers for their innovation time I said sign me up. And I’m so glad I did.
I think we’re kindred spirits because at our core, we’re all writers. But at the same time it’s a little like Jane Austen having lunch with Kurt Vonnegut. Content strategy and MarCom – where my background is – isn’t the same. We’re both all about engaging the reader and bringing order to the printed page… but while they’re talking content audits, I’m thinking about the benefits and features of content audits.
There are a lot of reasons hospitals are embracing patient portals. And Stage 2 of Meaningful Use (MU), particularly the rule requiring hospitals to provide more than one-half of inpatient or emergency department patients with the ability to access admission information within 36 hours of discharge, is a certainly right up there.
But patient portals offer more benefits than just checking a box on a MU requirement.
That’s the focus of an article published in For the Record, the bi-weekly publication for the Health Information Management Association. Experts – including our own Ben Dillon – weigh in on the issue of effectively using patient portals to help patients take a more active role in managing their own healthcare.
The article, Patient Portals: A Window to Information details why portals appeal to patients and discusses how hospitals can market the availability of a portal, transforming MU requirements into a selling point.
Check out the article to learn more!
It’s a bit ironic to write that question as the headline of a blog post… you can probably guess the answer is: Blog! But for healthcare marketers it’s not just a question of should we be blogging – but how?
In his latest article Using Blogs to Build Relationships Geonetric’s own Ben Dillon sheds light on this timely topic. Published in the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development’s (SHSMD) member newsletter, Spectrum, Ben’s article explains why so many healthcare marketers are reaching out to their audiences through blogs – and more importantly, how to develop a strategy that will ensure your blog delivers value.
The article provides numerous examples of organizations that are using blogs and succeeding – from Owensboro Medical Health System’s Beyond Five Percent blog to Overlake Hospital Medical Center’s cardiac blog – so you can see firsthand how others have engaged their readers.
When it comes to blogging, it’s tempting to jump right in. The best blogs may feel spontaneous, but the truth is few blogs actually are. Check out this article and learn what steps you can take now to ensure future blogging success.
Our own Ben Dillon and long-time client and patient portal advocate, Ken Croken, of Genesis Health System, teamed up recently to discuss patient-centric websites, and landed the cover of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development’s (SHSMD) member newsletter, Spectrum.
Ben and Ken are no strangers to discussing patient portals together, having co-presented last year at H.S.I.’s Healthcare Internet Conference and slated to appear at SHSMD’s 2010 annual conference this fall. The reason their knowledge is so sought-after? While others are just embarking on patient portals, Genesis and Geonetric have been fine-tuning the health system’s portal for years.
The article not only showcases the evolution and success of Genesis’s portal, it discusses healthcare websites in general and how they’ve grown from being brochureware into a tool for connecting with patients in personalized ways. Ben and Ken also discuss their views on the portal of the future, and what healthcare marketers should start doing today to appeal to health consumers of tomorrow.
If you haven’t seen the July/August 2010 issue of Spectrum, check it out on our website. And if you’re heading to SHSMD’s annual conference in September, be sure to attend Ben and Ken’s session.
There’s no question patient portals are a hot topic right now. Not only are patients demanding more interaction with their healthcare providers, recent reform changes have left many organizations considering moving down the portal path sooner than expected.
What’s the biggest obstacle they face? It’s overwhelming. And expensive.
Or at least that’s the perception.
This is the topic Geonetric’s Ben Dillon presents in a recent Ask the Expert column for eHealth Strategy & Trends. Ben tackles the question “How Do I Start a Patient Portal without Breaking the Bank?” and discusses the benefits of creating a portal that isn’t tied to back-end systems as a first step for many organizations. Ben interviews industry thought leaders, including Private Health News’s Dan Ansel and TransforMed’s Terry McGeeny, and showcases Geonetric’s portal work at Genesis Health System.
We knew our client Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids had something special going on when they developed a virtual open house to introduce their new Web presence to the community.
Marketing Healthcare Today, one of the premier creative magazines for healthcare marketing professionals, thought the idea was pretty inventive too, and featured the concept in their latest issue.
The article showcases Mercy’s new website and their virtual tour and open house. It also highlights many facets of their campaign including their use of direct mail, newspaper ads, social media, and even mall kiosks. Mercy went to a lot of effort to take an innovative concept and build a complete online-offline campaign around it. The community responded well, and so did the healthcare marketing industry.
No doubt about it, hospitals are getting much more aggressive about their marketing, both online and offline. From utilizing campaign tracking, vanity URLs and microsites to social media, healthcare organizations are looking for ways to make their online resources effectively tie in with their traditional marketing efforts.
This topic was the focus of Ben Dillon’s article in the latest issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends. Ben writes about the evolution of online healthcare marketing strategies as they are applied to offline or traditional marketing efforts. He also interviews a variety of clients, quoting their opinions about how online efforts have changed how they work.
To learn more about the transitions healthcare marketing strategy has taken, the benefits of integrating online efforts into your marketing initiatives, and how social media is changing the evolution as we speak, take a look at the most recent issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends.
I recently had the opportunity to present at our client symposium on eNewsletters. If your organization uses eNewsletters to connect with prospects, here are some quick and easy tips to makes sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. There are five areas to evaluate to make sure your eNewsletter is effectively communicating with your audience.