Health Knowledge = Support

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle, for HealthLeaders Media , December 17, 2008

Click for larger image.Though most healthcare facilities find messages of technology and care important for targeting consumers, one California hospital is hoping to convey the complexities of today's healthcare to its community.

It's a difficult approach, but those at California Pacific Medical Center, located in San Francisco, see it as a beneficial strategy. "The strategy behind this campaign is to, over the course of a year, help readers to understand how complex modern healthcare is and what our hospital does for the community," says Kevin McCormack, media relations manager for the facility.

The ads will be placed in a local newspaper weekly. Each ad designed for the campaign is done in a way that CPMC hopes will help to start a conversation with potential patients and hospital supporters, says McCormack. For example, one ad features copy that reads, "We're with you in sickness and in health, but we'd prefer health."

The ad copy says that basic preventative care could save more than 100,000 lives annually but that many American healthcare institutions do a poor job with preventative medicine. However, the ad goes on to say that CPMC will take care of you whether your sick or healthy and that, "Health and healing aren't just words to us. They're our reason for being here." The call to action directs readers to the facilities web site.

Pairing information with a positive message about the facility was part of the overall strategy. Of course the campaign also comes while the hospital is in the midst of seismic upgrades. So, an underlying hope is that the understanding readers take away from the ads will also help to get them to support the hospital as well. "This campaign is about education, awareness, and getting them to understand that as a hospital we have a huge role to play in the economy and vitality of the community," says McCormack.

And, as McCormack tells it, so far so good. "We're getting lots of people going to the Web site and sharing stories," he says. "We know people are getting an understanding for CPMC and we're really seeing a level of interest and public support."

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.

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