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Taking the Measure of Healthcare Marketing

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Magazine, January 8, 2010
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Konold says he noticed the effects of the recession on the entries as well. "To me, this year's competition was not nearly as creatively competitive as it was last year," he says. "Does the economic downturn cause clients and agencies to fall back to the more tried and true approaches? I hope not."

I was delighted with the overall quality of the entries in this year's campaign," says Don Dalton, vice president of public relations at the North Carolina Hospital Association, a state trade association that represents 135 hospitals and health networks. "The entries were all winners, making it very challenging to pick the truly exceptional."

Scoping out what's next
Among the entries, Dalton says, he noticed some emerging trends.

"I'd say patient testimonials are hot," he says. "I'm also seeing more small market hospitals willing to suffer the waste of advertising on bigger market TV stations to reach their audiences, again with image messages."

But in his region, hospitals seem to be heading in a new direction, he says. "I'm seeing more broad-based image campaigns [in North Carolina] than in previous years. They seem simple but refreshing in comparison to the sophisticated campaigns that have dominated during the past decade."

Buckley adds that he hopes to see hospitals and other healthcare organizations collaborate more in 2010.

"There has to be much more emphasis on building relationships in the communities that hospitals serve . . . working in and with their communities and collaborating with other healthcare providers and with community organizations to improve the health status of their area population," he says. "These efforts do not happen overnight, but when they come to fruition, the impact is much more powerful, long-lasting, and economic than independent advertising initiatives."


Gienna Shaw is senior marketing editor for HealthLeaders Media. She may be contacted at gshaw@healthleadersmedia.com.
2009 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards Judges

  • Mary Ann Schultz, senior manager of media relations, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
  • Debra Pierce, interim assistant VP of marketing and public relations, Carolinas HealthCare
  • Paul Szablowski, vice president of marketing, communications, and public relations, Catholic Healthcare West East Valley
  • Elizabeth Scott, principal consultant, Raven New Media
  • Bob Konold, partner, senior vice president, and group creative director, SPM Marketing & Communications
  • Amy Protexter, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Alegent Health
  • Brooke Tyson Hynes, vice president of public affairs and communications, Tufts Medical Center
  • Don Dalton, vice president of public relations, NCHA
  • Susan Dubuque, president and cofounder, Neathawk Dubuque & Packett
  • Patrick Buckley, president and CEO, PB Healthcare Business Solutions, LLC

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