hospital CEO

Hospital Marketing: You Have a New CEO… Now What?

When an outgoing, gregarious new leader arrives in town as your hospital’s new CEO, it can be an exciting process to help them find acceptance in the community.

Some hospital CEO’s are from an accounting background and prefer to concentrate their efforts internally, but an outgoing personality who wants to be visibly active in the community can be an asset for a hospital. The CEO is more than an internal leader  but an external one as well and when he or she has an effective relationship with the community, this can prove beneficial for the hospital during emergency situations, legal issues, expansion plans, requests from the community, and of course from an imaging stand point

But what to do when the new leader arrives? The expected introductions to the hospital’s board and employees and the usual press releases and Chamber of Commerce events are certainly in order.

Consider Twitter updates (Can be sent from a another leader in the community if your hospital isn’t yet tweeting but another reason we should be building our Twitter followers) with links to your hospital’s website for more info on the just-arrived CEO. Other social media should be considered such as Facebook ads targeted to your market, and possibly a live video feed question and answer via Facebook.  YouTube videos of interviews or snippets “into the life” of the new leader and perhaps his family can also help build a relationship with the community.

Healthcare related fundraisers such as ones hosted for the American Heart Association, Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, or Diabetes Walks all offer an important opportunity for the new CEO. This kind of personality can make inroads quickly in a community by supporting and attending arts organizations, fundraisers and gala events.  Often times smaller, more intimate settings and events should be considered as they offer the new leader more quality one-on-one time with community leaders.

Opportunities to Consider Sponsoring/Attending:

  • Gala fundraisers for local arts groups like the local museum of art, symphony, community theater or dance organizations.
  • Community-supported events hosted by organizations such as the Botanical Gardens, Land  Trusts, Green Initiatives or outdoor enthusiast events like bike clubs and hiking clubs.
  • Civic groups like Rotary Club. Lions Club, Jaycees or Jr League provide opportunities to network and show support for the community.
  • In smaller markets, involvement in high school sports and band booster clubs provide opportunities to meet families that are very active in the community.

Getting to know the community and making an impact through actual involvement can open doors quickly for a CEO who is so inclined. Converting marketing dollars to community event sponsorships can raise the profile of your new CEO as well as elevate the reputation of the hospital.  This can prove beneficial the next time the hospital needs the community’s or local political leaders’ assistance.


Hospital Marketing: Get Out Of Town!

Hospital Sign w ArrowEvery CEO, every marketer should sample his or her own product. But employees prevent them from seeing the truth.

A hospital CEO or marketer gets sick and has to be admitted to the hospital. GREAT! Now they can sample their product. But can they?

Probably every employee knows all the occupants of the executive suites, so when they appear at the hospital as a patient, they get the best room, the most attention and an extra dose of care.  So unfortunately their experience is not at all the experience that is common for other patients. 

I have a friend who was a hospital administrator who became ill out of town and had to go to the hospital. In that hospital, no one knew him so he didn’t receive the ‘special’ care that’s given to an insider or known VIP.

He said it really opened his eyes. He saw everything entirely differently. He noticed dust bunnies, dirty vents, cold food, hard beds, cracked paint, inattentive staff, slow response and conflicting information from various care providers.

His first thought was pride that his hospital was not run this way. And then he questioned if he could really say that. His experience at his own hospital was that of a special person. And he wondered if indeed this non-VIP treatment was exactly what if was like for those who visited his hospital. Needless to say, he came back with a renewed zeal to emphasize customer service.

Every hospital executive and manager should try in everyway possible to see things through the eyes of the patient. It’s easy to get so caught up in establishing procedures and rules to help lower costs and increase productivity, satisfy physicians, adhere to mandated guidelines and a zillion other things. And forget to see how the patient experiences the brand.

Every effort should be made to see it as the patient sees it. And because that has it’s limitations, patient satisfaction surveys, community perception surveys and even casual talk by former patients should be taken seriously.

Otherwise, maybe the only way we will see the truth is to get out of town.