HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - June 11, 2008 | Readers Write View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Readers Write
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

Want to take a guess which of my recent columns got the most response from readers? That's right, the one on dirty hospital bathrooms. It might not seem like a very important topic—after all, hospitals are in the business of saving lives, not cleaning toilets. But it struck a nerve with readers who agreed that this little detail says a whole lot about your organization. I absolutely love hearing what readers have to say—so please keep those comments and e-mails coming. [Read More]
  June 11, 2008

Editor's Picks
How much is that baby in the window?
I'm guessing it's difficult for the average person to understand consumer-driven care and price transparency, let alone find it interesting. But this Philadelphia Inquirer story is both easy-to-understand and an interesting read, relaying the story of a healthcare economist and his wife who called area hospitals to find the price of a regular birth. Guess what? "She just couldn't weasel it out of them," Uwe Reinhardt tells the paper. Is your hospital's call center prepared to answer questions about the costs of procedures? It's not too much to ask, says Reinhardt. "We know what a Chevy costs. We know what a haircut costs," he says. "It's just simply bizarre. . . . I don't have to hang forever on the phone to get the price of an iPod." [Read More]
Failure to launch: Service line pitfalls
I often hear healthcare marketers say they want to be more involved in service line development—that too often they're called in after a new service is launched and asked to promote it. If that's the case at your hospital or health system, you might want to forward this article on launching new products, services, and segments to your CEO. The process, the author writes, is often mishandled. The No. 1 mistake? Developing a new product or service without looking at whether the market wants it, needs it, or is willing to pay for it. "See," you can tell your CEO, "that's where marketing comes in." Just try not to be too condescending. [Read More]
Five tips for slick slogans that stick
Bad slogans are a dime a dozen and, the author writes, a waste of space. But a great slogan can live forever. If you want an effective, long-term rallying cry for your brand, you need a slogan that sticks in the mind. To create a sticky slogan, follow these five tips, which include repetition, reversal, rhyme, and alliteration. Too bad the author didn't offer six tips—it would have made a much better headline for this item. [Read More]
Time for your marketing check-up
I love the idea of marketing and communications audits for hospital and health systems—what better way to prove to the leaders at your organization what a great job you're doing? Beyond that, of course, it's also a good tool to identify areas that need improvement. This article explains the ins and outs of the communications audit, a thorough and systematic examination of a hospital's ability to communicate its vision and mission across all departments and to all external stakeholders. [Read More]
Robots may strike at any time
Few healthcare marketers make the mistake of striking fear into the hearts of their customers—it's just not the image hospitals and health systems want to project. Still, it's worth reading this item on Seth Godin's blog about fear marketing, if only to remind you why it's such a terrible idea. "Why not sell shark attack insurance?" he writes. "After all, almost a handful of people died last year from shark attacks." The video that spoofs insurance ads, with actor Sam Waterston warning of the dangers of robots that steal old people's medicine, is an added bonus. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Umpires Hit 'Home Run' With Children's Hospital Event
Click to view larger version.
Finding the right internal event that will be a hit with staff and patients is not always an easy task. However, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that holding a successful event was as easy as receiving support from an outside nonprofit organization that just happens to know a thing or two about making children smile. [Read More]
Calendar of Events
6/12/08: Marketing Your Physician Practice: A guide to growth

6/17/08: Marketing oncology: Strategies for service line campaigns

7/24/08: Niche Marketing Strategies: Build boomer loyalty now
10/15/08: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, Chicago

10/16/08: HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams, Chicago
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success

Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

Mystery Shoppers Take the Mystery Out of the Patient Experience: Mystery shopping, a reliable assessment tactic used for years by banks, restaurants, and hotels, has exploded on the healthcare scene in recent years. Although many healthcare organizations are measuring patient satisfaction, their data don't always pinpoint the experiences behind the scores. Mystery shoppers fill in the fine details and help organizations understand how patients feel about their experiences, apart from how they feel about their medical treatment, says contributor Kristin Baird. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Julie Amor, director of marketing at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, KS, talks about why marketing oncology services is so hard for hospitals, and how a strategy of steady patient education can help keep your facility top-of-mind for consumers seeking cancer care. Amor will speak during the June 17 Webcast, Marketing Oncology: Strategies for Service Line Campaigns. [Listen Now]
Julie Wright, CEO of Sound Family Medicine, a 28-provider practice in Puyallup, WA, discusses the importance of understanding current and future patient needs and disease trends within a community or service area. Hear more about Wright's strategies June 12 during a HealthLeaders Media audioconference Marketing Your Physician Practice: A Guide to Growth. [Listen Now]
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