Don’t Let Low Priority Become No Priority

It feels like there is never enough time

When faced with an overwhelming list of things to be done, good time management is essential. Marketing your business is essential for its long term health, but there is always a long list of immediate and pressing tasks when running a rural hospital. All too often if it isn’t at the top of the list, it doesn’t happen.

Strategies for time management

What you need is a strategy for time management. There are many proven methods to ensure that low-priority doesn’t become no-priority.

  • Block time at regular intervals
  • Set deadlines for low priority tasks
  • Invest in optimization

Blocking time

This strategy is to make a deliberate decision about what amount of time is right for your organization to focus on marketing. Make a commitment that you will spend per month. Then, schedule that time on your team’s calendar.

With experience, you can adjust the time allotted up or down to meet your needs, but always make a deliberate decision, don’t just react to the events of the moment.

Setting deadlines

Deadlines are the go-to means for getting something done. Deadlines for lower priority work should allow more time than you would for higher priority tasks. This offers the flexibility to react to other, more critical tasks while keeping your marketing efforts on track. That said, treat these deadlines with the same seriousness off any other in your organization or this strategy won’t work.

Investing in optimization

Like any task, Marketing can be done efficiently, and it can be done inefficiently. If you spend time upfront investing in streamlining your process, you will get great returns down the line by getting more done in less time. Make process improvement a goal, not just a desire.

And if you can’t invest the time, then consider investing a little money. is designed to make the most of your staff’s time by doing as much of the time-consuming work for you as possible.

Get Ready for National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month

Each November the National Heat Lung and Blood Institute promotes National Diabetes Month. The focus for this year is linking diabetes to heart disease. Now is a good time for your rural hospital to do educational outreach to the community and to make them aware of your related services.

According to the Southwest Rural Health Research Center “Diabetes prevalence is approximately 17 percent higher in rural areas than urban areas, with previous studies (also) showing that rural adults were more likely to report a diagnosis of diabetes than urban adults.” Rural Americans also suffer from higher rates of heart disease and stroke. These are health topics vital to the health of your community.

Teaching the connection

Adults diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to die from stroke and heart disease as those without it. The excessive glucose levels damage the blood vessels and the nerves that regulate heart function. For these reasons, diabetes prevention is intrinsically linked to preventing cardiovascular disease.

Of course, even for those with diabetes, there is a great deal they can do to lower their risks. Proper management of diabetes is a good start. Fighting the other risk factors for heart disease which are common in rural communities is another.

Delivering clear and actionable information to the members of your community can go a long way to helping them achieve better health. Ideally, you want to connect with the community face to face to teach and answer questions about diabetes and heart disease.

A focus on risk factors

The risk factors for diabetes and heart disease cover a lot of ground. This means there are ample opportunities to connect your hospitals’ health services with National Diabetes Month this November.

Diet and Exercise are among the most significant risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. There are also a number of personal risk factors from family history, poly-cystic ovaries, abnormal cholesterol, and others.

For heart disease, you can also focus your promotion on efforts to quit smoking, management of cholesterol, or blood pressure testing and treatment.

Seek out local partners

Consider all the risk factors and think about other popular local businesses or services that you could partner with for promotion and education. Restaurants that promote healthy eating or a local gym could make great partners for pairing medical information with a means for better diet and exercise.

You could create a genealogy workshop at the local library. This would be a chance for people to discover more about their family’s medical history while you share vital health information. Any opportunity to bring your expertise out of the hospital and into the community goes a long way to building awareness of your brand and services.

All these events can be promoted using social media, press releases, or local advertising.

Don’t Wait

Now is the time to get started with planning your outreach. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to care for your community and build awareness of your healthcare services.

Focusing on Flu Shots

Flu season is nearly upon us. Now is the time to start marketing your flu vaccination services to your local community. Not only is this an important service that is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans, but it is also a great way to make a positive impression on families in your community.

Build awareness of your Flu Shot services

Many people may not be aware that they can get vaccinated at your hospital or clinic. Let them know your services are quick, safe, and professional. Use your social media presence, advertisements, and other marketing materials to get the word out.

Sponsor a vaccination drive in your community

Another great way to bring people in contact with your hospital or clinic is to host a vaccination drive. Consider teaming up with a local organization or business to host a flu shot event. This is a great way to grow your reputation in the community and to engage community leaders.

You also get the opportunity to speak directly to members of the community about their health concerns and needs. Combine this with a promotion for annual wellness visits for a powerful follow-up combination.

Educate the public with a press release

A press release in the local newspaper is a great way to explain how flu shots are safe and help protect the most vulnerable in the local community.

Show your community that your healthcare organization is an authoritative voice on health. Explain the benefits of getting vaccinated and the risks of putting it off.

List any events you will be sponsoring and emphasize that shots are covered by Medicare and private insurance.

Need help promoting your healthcare services? Call Steven R Jolly at 1-800-441-7401.

P.S. Make sure to check your Essentials Toolbox regularly for social media reminders, press releases, newspaper ads and more. If you have a special project idea, such as web design, leadership development or customer service training, don’t hesitate to contact us. As an essentials member, you have access to exclusive discounts on projects to help your hospital meet and exceed its goals.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – It’s not too late

As you well know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Even if your hospital does not provide mammography services its a good idea to build community awareness through community outreach.

Women are most often the primary drivers of healthcare decision making in their families. By actively marketing in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month you can build trust and recognition with women in your community.

Now is the time for action

If you haven’t acted already, it’s not too late. You have two weeks left in October. That’s plenty of time to get out a press release about your efforts and promote your related services through your social media presence. Show your community that your hospital supports Breast Cancer Awareness month and you are dedicated to getting women the information and care they need.

If you don’t offer Mammography Services 

You can focus your marketing on encouraging women to visit their local healthcare provider for their annual wellness exam where they can discuss risk and screening options. In addition, you can discuss the risk for Osteoporosis and consider whether a bone scan would be appropriate.

Tying the promotion of annual exams to current health topics is always a great way to do outreach. They are a key opportunity to talk face to face with your customers about your services and create a positive experience visiting your hospital.

Resources to help your outreach

There are many organizations providing outreach materials you can use to help connect your rural hospital to the mission of women’s health. The National Breast Cancer Foundation is a great place to start. They have a social media outreach program you can use to support their cause while showing your hospital is part of the mission to fight for women’s health. 

We designed Essentials Membership to provide you with timely marketing copy, templates, and strategies to reach out quickly and easily for seasonal events like this one. 

The messaging essentials

When designing your marketing materials for Breast Cancer Awareness week or any time you are tying into a national promotion, keep these goals in mind.

  • Identify the promotion you are supporting
  • Make sure your brand is visible to readers
  • Clearly, state the related service you offer
  • Focus on one clear idea for each message