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This is My Children’s

Kandace McLaughlin, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2008

Click to view larger version.With recent expansions, Children's Hospital and Health System in Wauwatosa, WI, launched a community-focused campaign to instill ownership and a sense of connectivity in the community and to make it more than just a 12 story, 425,000 square foot structure.

Children's expanded its facility in response to increased need. However, with the expansion came the realization that they also needed a way to reach out to the community on a larger scale than they ever had before.

"We have a dozen and a half audiences," says Stephanie Hungerford, senior public relations specialist for Children's. "It's difficult to create a single campaign that appeals to everyone." But when Core Creative, of Milwaukee, WI, pitched the "This is MY Children's" concept to Children's, they recognized it as an all-inclusive idea.

"Their concept spoke the most strongly out of any we had seen because it gave a sense of ownership over the hospital. It connects people to the hospital," says Hungerford. "Children's is very much a part of the community," says Beth Crivello-Wagner director of public relations for Core Creative. "That's the message we wanted to get across—that Children's is interwoven within the fabric of community."

The campaign had two primary focuses—engagement and versatility. In order to engage the community the team brought the community's perspective into the campaign. It featured various individuals who all had experiences with or felt connected to Children's. The campaign incorporates their stories.

"Versatility was extremely important because we're actually a health system and the concept can be used across different entities," says Hungerford.

The multi-integrated campaign also includes an artwork project that features drawings by children (ages 3-18) of their visions of what Children's hospital looks like and what it means to them. One child's work from each of four age categories will be chosen to win a trip to a local water park for their family. "It's unique," says Hungerford. "It's actually two simultaneous campaigns. It's also interesting to see the hospital from the child's perspective."

"What we are really passionate about is spreading wings, when it comes to a healthcare campaign it's important to look at everyone as a part of it—everyone working together," says Crivello-Wagner. The campaign will continue throughout the expansions opening and Children's plans to take the artwork submissions on a community tour.


Kandace McLaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com 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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