HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - April 15, 2009 | The Expanding Healthcare Market: Can Your Small Hospital Compete With the Big Guys?
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The Expanding Healthcare Market: Can Your Small Hospital Compete With the Big Guys?
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

How are small community hospitals supposed to compete when the big guys come rolling into town to steal away their market share? Well, it turns out many of them are managing to do just that. And some of them are even turning the tables—small community hospitals reaching out beyond their own primary, secondary, and tertiary markets to grow revenue, allowing them to continue to serve their own communities at the same time. [Read More]
  April 15, 2009

Editor's Picks
Time to educate consumers on what community benefit means
The Cleveland Plain Dealer posted a package online outlining charity care and other community benefit spending among area nonprofit hospitals. It's not surprising that reporters are starting to smell a story in the new community benefit reporting rules under IRS form 990, Schedule H. What blew me away were the 70-plus comments on the post. It's quite clear that the public has a lot of misconceptions about the meaning of charity care and community benefit. Those who commented on the post can't seem to figure out what charity care means, who pays for it, who gets it, or if 2% of spending on charity care is a lot—or too little. Additionally, most readers completely missed the fact that Cleveland-area nonprofits spent an average of 8.4% of their total revenues on the broader category of community benefit, even though the paper made it clear that the larger figure "includes not only charity care, but also a host of other programs and services, such as research, staff training, and community outreach." Why so much focus in the comments on the 2% spent on charity care? Because that's the number that was in the headline. Ouch. [Read More]
Flash backlash: Time to get back to basics
Here's a reminder that everything new gets old real fast: The flash-powered advertising agency site, according to this Adweek article, is falling out of favor. The move away from flash signifies "a shift in strategy from the wowing of consumers with an experience driven by tech wizardry to the weaving of brands into the fabric of the Web and an emphasis on content," writes Adweek's Brian Morrissey. My reaction? Hooray! There's nothing more annoying than going to a Web site for information about a company and getting stuck in a pretty but meaningless display of flashiness. Don't get me wrong: The sites are creative and fun and yadda, yadda, yadda. And, after all, creative and fun is an appropriate first impression for a creative business to make. But you're not just running a creative business, you're also running a business business. Don't make me sit through some clever flash presentation with no escape button every single time I visit your site. And if I'm looking for your contact info, I want to cut and paste it into an e-mail or a Word doc, which isn't possible in flash. And yes, I am that lazy. [Read More]
Does your logo make people queasy?
If you think an aesthetically pleasing hospital lobby is the first step in creating positive first impressions, think again. Often the first interaction potential patients have with your organization's brand is through its logo, and if that logo is sloppy or unappealing consumers will be turned off, says Brad Blackman, blogger for The Pulse. "A logo says a lot about how seriously you take yourself," he writes. "If your personal appearance is sloppy, you will be perceived as a sloppy and disorganized person. The same goes for your logo." In his latest blog post, Blackman details some of his guiding principles for logos, such as being unique and clever but still keeping it simple. He also suggests that readers visit the "Your Logo Makes Me Barf" Web site to get some examples of what not to do—and have a good laugh. [Read More]
Marketing awards deadline looming
Deadlines are always looming, aren't they? But I want to make sure you don't miss the May 29 deadline to enter the 2009 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards. Why? Because, unlike other contests, we don't extend our deadlines. Really. No, really. Every year we get calls: "But everybody extends their deadlines!" Well, we don't. So enter early (and often—there are a whopping 22 categories this year, which means more chances for you to win). Visit to view contest details, read about previous events and winners, and download the entry submission form. Did I mention the deadline for submissions is May 29? [Learn More]
Top Leadership Teams deadline is also looming
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now in Chicago this October. If you and your organization have an outstanding story of teamwork and success, please tell us about it. For more information, go to the 2009 Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards Program Web site, where you can learn more about the six categories, download an entry form, and submit your entry. The deadline to submit is April 30. And no, we won't be extending that deadline, either. [Learn More]
Campaign Spotlight
Powerful Patient Storytelling
Click to view PDF version.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is facing the same economy, market conditions, and consumer trends as everybody else. With declining fraternal membership and rising healthcare costs putting pressure on its donation-driven revenue model, it needed to raise awareness about its mission and benefits. Good marketing is all about good storytelling. And the "Defy the Odds" campaign scored such high marks with the 2008 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Award judges on that point that it received a platinum award among large hospitals in the Best Children's Hospital category. [Read More]
Calendar of Events
4/29/09: Marketing Neurosciences: Service Line Strategies for Marketers

On Demand: 5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience at Your Hospital

On Demand: Form 990H: Act Now to Protect Your Reputation

On Demand: Strategic Marketing Lessons from Other Industries: 5 Innovative Ideas That Work
4/26/09: Physician Strategies Summit, Scottsdale, AZ

5/03/09: PRC's 2009 Client Education Conference, New Orleans

6/15/09: Connecting to Consumers in Today's Healthcare Environment, Phoenix

10/14/09: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Experience 09, Chicago

10/15/09: HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now, Chicago

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What you need to know in planning and budgeting for healthcare digital signage, Vericom.
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed

The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Redefining Cardio

The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals across the country. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves to keep it that way. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

So Long to the Easy Sale: How Healthcare Marketers Can Reach Patients Reluctant to Spend: Many hospitals and health systems are reporting dramatic drops in utilization. How does this change things for healthcare marketers? In a nutshell, your customers are becoming a much more challenging sale, says contributor Chris Bevolo. [Read More]
Audio Features

There has been a shift in the market with smaller hospitals completing acquisition deals. John Reiboldt, of the Coker Group, discusses the market conditions and what it takes to make a purchase these days. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly

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Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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Listen Now: Dramatic tactics to improve the patient experience.
Get ready to be inspired: Check out the 2008 edition of Hospital Campaigns That Work.
Free download: A Marketer's Guide to Market Research.
How transparent are you? Use these case studies from healthcare organizations across the nation to benchmark your efforts.
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