We wouldn’t consider building our dream homes without blueprints for design, tactics for construction, and strategies for maintaining our new residence over the long haul. So why do we jump into creating our healthcare websites without embarking on the same kind of preparation and planning? Insert sheepish grin here.
Well, let’s take the mystery out of website governance, look at what a governance framework might include, and see how we can benefit from using governance to help us manage our healthcare websites long term.
We all say we build our websites to help our users—patients and prospects, visitors, staff, communities and more—but do we really?
Top Tasks Help Users
What if focusing on top tasks, clear navigation and streamlined content actually increased our key measures and made our site visitors happy? Your next question might just be: Where do I sign up?
But then you wonder… How could it possibly be that when we first help our website users do what they came to do, they’ll show their love by sticking with us, following through with activities that also benefit our organization?
It seems counterintuitive, but it works. Requirements to fill out forms with lots of fields or pages—or “shouting” at visitors to do something we want before we let them complete their goal—only creates frustration. Such tactics actually interfere with building the positive relationships that create happy users who are inclined to make return visits.
As more hospitals, outpatient centers and physician practices join forces to share expensive technology and gain from the knowledge and skill of experienced clinicians, the need to speak with a unified voice online becomes imperative. HCA’s Capital Division has partnered with Geonetric to meet that and other goals for its multiple facilities and websites.
Beyond the organizational and emotional upheaval brought on by merging business cultures when hospitals and medical groups combine their efforts comes the challenge of creating a new Web presence. The new “system” website must build on the stellar reputations of the individual players while highlighting the benefits users will receive from their newfound access to resources across the entire system. Often, that means creating a new Web presence that’s a mash-up of all the existing websites – and rethinking everything about content and users in the process.
Latest HCA Capital Division Web Update
As HCA’s Capital Division continues its Web restructuring activities, the latest site to launch is LewisGale Regional Health System, the hub of its Southwest Virginia market. LewisGale incorporates four hospitals, six outpatient centers, two cancer centers and 700 physicians. While based in Salem/Roanoke, the entire service area stretches from Alleghany Highlands and Rockbridge County on the north to the Roanoke and New River Valleys on the south, a distance of more than 100 miles.
LewisGale: Integrated Message for System Services
LewisGale’s far-flung individual players recognized the need for an integrated message – one that reflects the system’s hub-and-spoke approach to delivering a wide range of sophisticated services – and they invested in a partnership with Geonetric to make that happen. We built on the awareness that the region is filled with small communities where personal relationships are key.
You may find no better subject for newsjacking than Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. The New York Times op-ed piece by Angelina Jolie—My Medical Choice—caused a big stir and lit up the interwebs within hours of its publication on May 14, 2013. And it was still going strong a day later.
Did you get on the bandwagon? Did you newsjack this story? Or were you curating content? Each approach has its merits, but you need to be aware of what you’re doing so you can be effective and efficient. Since trend data on this topic may not even show up for a couple of days, you want to engage the conversation at the sweet spot where everyone’s still talking.
Newsjacking provides your expert, quotable insights on a topic. (See our recent post, Newsjacking: Seize the Second Paragraph, for details.) It offers your original perspective and helps position you as the go-to source for more information on the issue. If breast care, cancer care, or genetic testing are important services for your organization, be prepared to join the conversation quickly.
Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, took that approach by repurposing relevant content for the current context. Key points? They knew they had an existing piece that fit the bill—a patient’s decision after genetic testing—and they understood how to reframe and expand it with original information to hit the topic of the day. Of course, they were paying attention to the news and took advantage of the opening.
After a couple of weeks filled with amazing news headlines — from letters filled with ricin sent to a senator and the U.S. president, to bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon, to deadly explosions at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas — newsjacking might seem like a no-brainer for your marketing department. But take care to know what’s really involved and establish some basic guidelines for your organization to follow.
Exactly what is newsjacking? According to David Meerman Scott, author of the latest e-book on the subject — Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage — it’s the opportunity to instantly put your organization into the news of the day and keep it there over time. It’s a social media post or news media promotion that points to relevant content in your online media room or blog.
When you newsjack, you provide your expert, quotable insights on the news topic — insights that help position your organization as the go-to source for more information. You want to quickly deliver well-written, verifiable, and valuable information that journalists can quote verbatim — as if they’d talked to you in person. It should flesh out the “why” behind the “who, what, when, where” and help keep the story alive. Your take becomes the second paragraph in the story they’re telling.
Seems obvious, right? Websites – and most everything else we want to share – start with content. Got something to say? That’s content.
According to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, content rules. The pair literally wrote the book on the subject – Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Recently revised to keep up with the constantly changing world of social media, it’s one of the best books to help you get started in your content development efforts or remind you of options when faced with information overload. Whether you consider the title as directive or cheer, you’re right!
Conversation? Community? Add them to content and you have a solid base for your business in a world where social media captures an ever-increasing share of the way we communicate with each other.