There is never enough time
In a typical American rural hospital, there is never enough time. There is always more that needs to be done than there are time and resources to do it. Patient-care is always at the top. Paying the bills is generally next on the list, and it goes on and on. Where is marketing on your list?
We must find the time for marketing
If we want to keep rural healthcare in America strong and vibrant, we really MUST be marketing our services.
If you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Patients will continue to head for larger urban hospitals even when you have those same quality services closer to home. Too many rural hospitals are shutting their doors. You must lookout for the long-term health of your hospital.
What can you do?
Your first step is to choose a strategy to put your marketing on track and keep it there
- Divide and conquer the work
- Dedicate the time and money to hire someone
- Seek outside, professional help
Divide and Conquer
Many hands make light work. Everyone at your Hospital is busy. No one has the time to handle all the work needed. By creating an internal marketing task force and dividing up the work, you have a fighting chance. It will take teamwork, good time management, and good communication but it can be done.
Find the people in your organization with the right skills, assign them tasks connected to those skills and you can get the work done.
Hire a Marketer and give them a budget
This may well be the most expensive option on this list, but it has advantages. With someone dedicated to the task, you know it will get the attention and focus it needs. As your organization grows, you have built the foundations of a marketing team that can grow with you. Perhaps most importantly, they will intimately understand your community and your hospital.
Outsource your marketing
If you have more money than time, you can hire an outside firm to handle your marketing. You can also combine outside help with other strategies. Use the marketing firm to handle what your staff finds most challenging. You will want someone who understands and has long experience with the unique market challenges facing rural hospitals. These folks can be hard to find, but if you are reading this, they just a phone call or email away.