Virtual Call to Action Rallies Community Support

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , November 9, 2011

The Huntley mayor has even recorded a video sharing a story about his own family and the need to have a hospital nearby. Each of the eight online videos has been turned into TV spots, which are also available on the microsite, along with support letters written by the video subjects.

"We've gotten such great stories and people asking what they can do to help so we started giving them a way to tell their stories," Susan Milford, Centegra's senior vice president of strategic marketing and planning and wellness services, told a local newspaper.

The website also contains basic information and highlights about the proposed hospital and suggestions on ways community members can get involved, including writing a letter of support, sharing about the cause on other social networks, opting in to receive email updates about the project, and displaying a sign on their yard.

A call to action like this is critical to any successful community relations campaign. Not only does the call to action give residents an easy way to support the cause, but it gives marketers hard metrics to track and report back to leadership. And every marketer knows the value of an opt-in email subscriber.

As a result of these calls to action, Centegra has cultivated many local volunteers, who will likely become their best brand activists if the CON is successful and the hospital is built. More than 100 households are displaying lawn signs, and many residents have helped out making cold calls.

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