Merry Christmas and Thanks

As 2022 comes to a close its a time for celebration and good cheer. The hard work of keeping our communities healthy continues, but we can and should take a moment to reflect. You and your staff are doing all you can to keep quality healthcare services available in your community. Thank you!

Jolly Holiday Wishes

I want to personally wish you team a merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

Both my staff and I are honored to play our part in the ongoing effort to keep rural America healthy and strong. We want to thank you for all that you and your staff do every day for the people in your community. Nothing means as much to people as the health of their loved ones. This is the gift your hospital gives to people year-round.

May good food, family, and friendship be close at hand.
We hope you find rest, contentment, and joy in the season.
Gather strength, courage, and inspiration for the coming year.
Know that we are grateful for all your efforts and struggles.
Stay safe, seek peace, and continue to be the best version of yourself.

Marketing for the holidays

This time of year is great for just reaching out and letting your community know you are grateful for their support. It’s a good time to stay positive in your messaging and perhaps take a break from talking about health concerns or services. Use your outreach to spread some joy and warm feelings.

It’s a great time to give your staff a spotlight. It’s one thing for your hospital to offer season’s greetings, it’s another to have that message come from people with names and faces. Raise your staff’s profile by letting them be the voice that shares your holiday message. Talk to your staff about what they do for the holidays and how it ties into the community. Use this for inspiration.

It’s also a great opportunity to connect to events in your community. Get involved with local charitable giving and events. Encourage your staff to volunteer at holiday events and find out who is already doing so. Talk about local holiday traditions in your marketing messages and show people that your hospital and staff really are part of the local community.

Building a Marketing Library

If you are going to build your own marketing program, it’s essential that you do so efficiently. A key strategy for efficiency is to eliminate duplicated effort. By investing some extra time and effort upfront, creating and maintaining a marketing copy library can save you time and money down the road.

Start with good organization

Any good library should have materials that are easy to find and easy to understand. Start with a master document that describes how your library is organized. It should set standards for how you name your library files. It should also tell readers where the files are stored and how to access them correctly. Be consistent about maintaining this organization, and if you make changes, update your master document.

File names are important. It should be easy to know exactly what is in the file before you even open it. Be sure to include the date the file was last used. Storing files by publication date is not recommended. The idea is to re-use these documents so organize them by subject or purpose.

Create a brand bible

A brand bible is a document that details how your brand is to be represented to the public. It contains everything from official logos, official colors, formatting for your companies name, font choices, approved images of your facility and staff, preferred word choices, and so on. You should make sure to update and review this document periodically.

Make documents modular

Try to write marketing copy in self-contained paragraphs or groups of paragraphs. This way you can mix and match, grabbing a paragraph from one document and using it in another. Keep a separate file for your most commonly used paragraphs, phrases, and quotations.

Highlight variables

You will need to change some elements of a document each time it is published. Elements like dates for events, names of staff, web addresses, and the like should be highlighted in the library files. This way you can quickly see what must be changed. You don’t want any embarrassing mistakes.

Reuse and refine

The goal is to write once and use many times. That said, you don’t want to fall into the habit of doing so thoughtlessly. As time goes on you will find ways to improve your messaging. When proofreading copy for publication, look for places you can make small improvements to your copy. Through multiple uses, your marketing messages are going to get better and better.

The power of sharing

Did you know that already has a massive library of ready to use marketing materials for hospitals like yours? It even comes with monthly marketing plans to put them to use. It takes time, money, and expertise to build a library of your own. It’s a great investment, but by joining with other hospitals the costs can be spread out. This is why is so affordable. We made the investment, you get the benefits.

Want to experience the power of a marketing library? Call Steven R Jolly at 1-800-441-7401.

Marketing Swing Beds

Since 1980, swing bed revenue has been a mainstay source of revenue for many of America’s rural hospitals. If your hospital has an active swing bed program you know the positive impact it can have on patient care and your bottom line.

Unless you are fully utilizing your available beds, you need to be active about marketing post-acute care services to your community. Here are some strategies for your messaging.

Recovery close to home

Being able to recover from surgery close to home is the biggest selling point for consumers. Stress the idea you can be close to your family, making it fast and easy for them to visit. Use language like “your hometown”, or “your community” to connect feelings of home to your facility. You can talk about there being no need for a long journey to make other options sound less attractive.

Seamless care

People in your community may not understand that when recovering from surgery they may have to move to a separate nursing facility if they go to a larger urban hospital.

Example: At YOUR HOSPITAL recovery is a seamless process where you don’t have to move after surgery. You can receive all the support you need from the same staff that first cared for you. Your doctor and the whole nursing staff are close at hand ensuring the best recovery possible for you.

You can further bolster this message by citing research that patients who recover at the hospital rather than a nursing facility have lower rates of readmission and shorter recovery stays. You can find one such study here and another here.

Getting YOUR patients back!

Often your local medical provider, or Emergency Department, will refer a patient to a specialist in a big city hospital and they end up providing the care …and placing your patient in the urban city hospital swing bed program. Not only do you lose the revenues but the family has to travel the distance each day to see them. 

Building relationships is key to getting your patients back home and in your swing bed program

Get to know the discharge planners and the specialist in the larger communities. Make sure they know the services your hospital provides–and that you want your patients to return for local care.

Promote your nursing staff

Promoting your recovery care services is a great opportunity to highlight your nursing staff. Feature quotes from your nurses about the benefits of recovering at the hospital. Let them be the caring voice that carries this message to your community. This will put a human face on your services and at the same time burnish their reputation.

5 Copywriting Essentials

One of the core disciplines of marketing is writing effective copy. We are going to look at five essential techniques. Each will help you improve the quality of your marketing copywriting.

Be goal-oriented

Before you create any piece of copy, think about your goal. What do you want the reader to think and/or what you want them to do? Everything you write should be focused on achieving your goals. You can have more than one goal in a piece of marketing, but if you do, they should be closely related. And whatever you do, don’t include elements that actively distract or detract from your objectives.

Simplify your message

You should think carefully about what your core message is for any piece of marketing. If you can summarize it into one short sentence, that is ideal. This simple message should appear somewhere in your copy, generally, the earlier the better. You should echo it more than once in your copy, though each time, you can say it a little differently. In terms of goals, the message is what you want the reader to think when reading your copy.

Know your audience

This is so essential. You must know who you are trying to speak to. Create a persona that has the essential qualities of your audience. Give them a name. Imagine their life. Imagine their problems. Then craft your message to speak directly to them, to reflect their thoughts and values. If you have a broad target, try to find points of commonality. Avoid ideas that divide your target audience. It’s better to have two messages for two targets than one that tries to speak to both.

Lead with a strong hook

What are the first words your reader will see? These need to be the most powerful, the easiest to understand, and make it interesting. Ideally, just one sentence can carry your message, build your brand, and motivate action in your favor. If nothing else, you want it to compel people to read more. Speak to the problems people have. Make them curious about what comes next. Promise some value it what you have to say. These are all good approaches.

Be direct

People generally know they are reading an advertisement and they typically have very little patience for adds. You want to use direct language and get to the point as quickly as you can. Once you have their attention, you can elaborate, but don’t waste their time with empty words and don’t make them guess what your message is. Also, don’t make them think. Tell them and show them what you want them to do and why they should do it.

Promote Wellness at End of Year

The end of the year is fast approaching. This is a great time to get people to visit your rural hospital for an annual wellness exam. Not only is this important for folks to maintain their health, but it’s a great opportunity to connect with customers, market your services, and leave a positive impression.

Use it or lose it

Many people on health insurance are eligible for a free wellness exam once per year as part of their policy. As the end of the year approaches, you can make them aware of this and encourage them to take advantage of this benefit. Losing something of value is a powerful psychological motivator for most people.

Don’t lose out on this important health insurance benefit!

This kind of appeal can also be applied to other services you offer that can be completely or largely covered by common insurance packages. Screening programs, health counseling, and other preventative measures are both good for patients and are chances to make positive contact with new patients.

Focus on the family

This is the holiday season and people are thinking more and more about their families. This is a strong emotional message. By focusing your marketing on staying healthy for your family, you can speak to people’s hearts and build your image as a caring institution.

In the holidays, the greatest gift is the love of family and friends. You want to be there for your family, healthy and strong. Getting an annual wellness exam is a great first step to ensuring a healthy and happy New Year for you and those you love most.

Ring in the new year with good health

Interest in health and wellness spikes after New Years, but you can tap into this early. You can promote your wellness exams as a way to create health goals for the new year. You could create a branded new year’s goals sheet that patients can fill out with their care providers. As people work towards their health goals they are reminded that you are there to support them. A branded goals sheet can make for a great direct mail campaign as well.

Share the cheer during wellness exams

Remember that every face to face interaction with customers is an opportunity for building your brand. Wellness exams are especially good for this. Your customers are less likely to be distressed and preoccupied. Warm greetings and good care will build positive feelings about your hospital. It’s also a great time to share other services you offer for wellness and peace of mind.