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Hanging in the Balance

Kandace McLaughlin Doyle, for HealthLeaders Media, December 3, 2008

Click for larger image.The professionals and academic minds at Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) and East Carolina University (ECU), both in Greenville, NC, decided that it was time to bring technologically advanced, patient focused, integrated cardiac care to North Carolina in the form of a new facility. However, without an effective way to communicate the unique new approach to caring for patients, the success of this ambitious collaboration hung in the balance.

This all inclusive institute for care will include two new facilities, opening in early 2009, that will be called the East Carolina Heart Institute (ECHI). "The institute [will be a place] where research, education, treatment, and prevention all come together to benefit the people of this region and beyond," says Dan Dunlop, president of Jennings, ECHI's agency, in Chapel Hill, NC.

With so much coming together at once, PCMH, ECU, and Jennings needed to create an effective awareness campaign that would inform while bringing a sense of balance and clarity to all of the attributes and services the new institute needed to convey.

The campaign that was created to meet those needs communicates a balance between technology and treatment, achieved with a creative strategy using images that mirror each another with similar photographs placed side by side. One photo depicts the technology and the other the patient and the art of patient-centric medicine.

"The mirror image photography within the ECHI campaign graphically depicts the balance of leading edge technology and the best in academic medicine," says Dunlop.

The copy and overall message for each piece of the campaign was kept simple and concise to complement the images, balance them on the page (for the print pieces), and allow the images to stand out.

"One of the things we're working hard on is integrating the advertising with events marketing, internal communications and media relations, as well," says Dunlop. According to Dunlop, for a successful launch awareness campaign, you can't just be content to sit back and rely solely on the power of the paid media. Marketers need a fully integrated endeavor to create buzz.


Kandace McLaughlin Doyle is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kdoyle@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.