See the Big Picture

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle , January 7, 2009

Click to watch video. When quality concerns become top of mind for consumers for your facility it may be time to take a step back and reassess. When Owensboro (KY) Medical Health System (OMHS) found it was facing a similar situation, it knew it was time to make some changes. After bringing in a new CEO and COO the health system decided to launch a campaign that had the community and a bigger picture in mind.

"About two years ago we embarked on really the first branding campaign for the organization and really started to rebuild some of the trust that people had lost over time with this particular provider," says Robert Rosenberg, president of OMHS's agency Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy. "With some strategy and strategic partnerships, [OMHS] shaped themselves up pretty dramatically. The first campaign was really about instilling trust to get them back into the community."

The combination of a revamped strategy, new leadership, and a new branding initiative featuring real patient testimonials proved successful. Survey results saw a 16–20% point increase in awareness and preference for OMHS. "Once they saw some really dramatic increases they bought into the concept of branding and what it could do for them," says Rosenberg. "They were more willing to take it to next step, which is really what we needed to do." Additional research was conducted and the team noticed that there were still gaps in the local and, most importantly, regional perceptions. "There was some fall out in areas like technology and specialized care," says Rosenberg.

To fill in those gaps it was decided that the newest phase of the campaign would focus locally and regionally on OMHS' imaging capabilities for individual service lines. The campaign theme, which will run for at least 18 months, is 'We see the bigger picture.' "The idea came about because it's not just seeing the medical imaging," says Rosenberg. "It's seeing the imaging picture and seeing ways to get the individual patient back to their lives."

Several TV spots and print elements were created using actors as well as a national production company for the TV spots. "We used actors instead of real patients that people might know for the first time so that we could focus the creative more on the message. And we used a national production company because we felt it gave the campaign a higher quality look and feel," says Rosenberg. "A lot of people say, 'we want to communicate quality'…we want to be a quality provider but let's skimp on the budget. Which is fine and I'm not advocating that you need a big budget to do good work, but if one of your goals is to communicate quality and more of a national look and feel, then you have to make those kinds of decisions [like OMHS did] in order to give your program what it needs to communicate what it's supposed to."

For OMHS, seeing success at the 18 months will be a part of the bigger picture they are building through careful branding and strategy.

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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