Hospital Employees Tell Community ’What Matters Most’

Marianne Aiello, December 8, 2010

St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls, WI, gathered about 50 employees one day last year to film their response to one question; What matters most to you? Many of the employees' replies surprised the 193-bed hospital's marketers.

The "What Matters Most" campaign, which launched in May, plays off of St. Joseph's long-time tagline "Specializing in what matters most." Hospital marketers worked with Duluth, MN, agency HT Klatzky to create the integrated effort.

The agency gave St. Joseph's marketers one simple guideline when selecting employees to answer the question on camera: find a diverse group of workers.

"We didn't just want administration," says Mike Scholtz, associate creative director at HT Klatzky. "When we've done these documentary things in the past we wanted to make sure we have people who work in the cafeteria and some of the janitors and some of the support staff involved because sometimes you get some of the refreshingly honest answers form them because they're not worried about how it might sound politically. We wanted to make sure we got a nice mix of people—that was the only guideline we gave them."

The marketing team decided not to tell any of the chosen employees what question they were going to be asked because they thought it was crucial that their answers be genuine and unrehearsed.

From just one day of shooting, marketers produced three 30-second TV spots, radio ads, posters, and print ads. Since the campaign launched, St. Joseph's has received a vast amount of positive community feedback.

The community response to the campaign has been "heartwarming," says Bill Larson, marketing director for St. Joseph's.

"Over and over we heard community members say the 'What Matters Most' campaign touched them and could not have depicted St. Joseph's Hospital in a more suitable manner," says Bill Larson, marketing director for St. Joseph's. "Over a period of several months the faces and messages of our colleagues became part of our community's households. We were able to ignite the feelings we had hoped for and showcased our hospital as a caring, hopeful, genuine place where patients are cared for by people who are their friends and neighbors. And our colleagues—they loved the experience and the part they played in giving a face and heart to our hospital."

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