Develop Strong Community Relationships That Will Benefit Your Brand
For many reasons, modern hospital marketing strategy needs to focus on long-term relationship building with their target audiences. Top-performing organizations are increasingly recognizing that forging community partnerships is key to a healthy hospital brand – and bottom line. Here are a few important reasons why developing community partnerships are important to your hospital:
- Establishing a strong community presence is a long-term strategy that can increase hospital brand awareness and foster positive relationships crucial to engaging patients.
- Creating a culture of health for their communities is a mindset that both local businesses and hospitals share.
- Local organizations connect hospitals with people likely to need healthcare services, such as:
- Nursing homes and elder care facilities
- Retirement communities
- Schools: For example, run programs related to nutrition, exercise, safety and injury prevention
- Sports teams
- Any organization focused on health and well-being, such as food banks, literacy groups, the YMCA and others
Similarly, hospitals can sponsor local events or initiatives where community members have the opportunity to interact with the hospital in a non-medical setting, where the focus is on good health and positive experiences. For example, sponsor a charity walk or run, or support efforts to better the community such as public gardens or parks.
Although community outreach will be the province of several hospital stakeholders, the marketing department plays an integral role in building, maintaining and publicizing such programs. Here are a few tips for marketers:
- Mention community outreach efforts in new mover marketing campaigns. It’s a great opportunity to make a positive first impression and influence new residents to choose a hospital with deep roots in the community.
- Leverage the power of social media to:
- Build awareness of community partnerships. Leverage the real-time nature of social media to spark interaction.
- Create communities online
- Make it easy for community representatives to seek partnership. Provide a sponsorship request form online, and be sure to set parameters such the type of organization or event the hospital will partner with, (e.g., those that match the organization’s mission and values).
- Always give away a useful branded item at sponsored events or programs. It’s a tangible way to make a lasting impression and keep your hospital in front of your target audience.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance segmented outreach. Capture data from event attendees – provide a way to sign up to receive newsletters, or emails on specific health information.
Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Strata Company provides healthcare organizations with direct marketing programs that boost patient acquisition, physician referrals and community presence. Our team of creative and technical experts excel at using a multichannel approach that ensures your brand stays front and center with patients in your market.
As Marketing Coordinator at Strata Company, Natalie is able to hone in on her skills specializing in healthcare marketing, millennial trends, social media and more. Natalie also plays a key role in planning and executing marketing campaigns. In her free time, she is an avid animal lover and loves the outdoors.