Monthly Archives: June 2011

Marketing emergency care

You might be surprised to hear I’m often asked by friends and family, “What do you mean you do marketing for a hospital? You don’t really need to market it, do you?”

Although most people avoid hospitals at all costs, there are times we may need to visit them, and patients have more choices than ever about where to receive care.

When it comes to emergency care, not everyone goes to the hospital nearest them. There are reasons why someone might choose to bypass an ER and head to another. I once passed by three hospitals in an ambulance to take my daughter to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. I knew she could handle the extra 10-minute drive and the care she would receive would be more pediatric-friendly.

Residents living in the St. Paul area have a few hospitals to choose from and one of Allina’s hospitals (my employer) recently renovated and re-opened the Peter J. King Emergency Care Center (ER) at United Hospital. The facilities are truly state-of-the-art and designed to better serve patients, with private patient rooms (with doors instead of curtains), cutting-edge technology (for trauma, imaging  and more) and a healing environment in terms of art and furniture.

The overall patient experience has been improved, such as shorter wait times and an improved process for how patients “flow” through the ER. As patients are making more informed decisions about their care, it’s important to share information about the renovations with our communities. 

There were a number of PR and marketing activities developed to do just this. From the corporate marketing office, I worked with the United marketing team and an external agency to develop a print and outdoor campaign. The “Faster/Better” ad concept shown here was a simple, but clever, communication that really got to the heart of the patient experience. The new ER really is faster and better for patients.

This campaign is currently running in St. Paul and surrounding communities.

Top 50 Women of Twitter

I am honored to be included in a list of the “Nifty 50 Women of Twitter for 2011.” This list was compiled and published by Tom Pick of Webbiquity and Cheryl Burgess of Blue Focus Marketing.

Of course it’s always an honor to be recognized for good work, and there are a number of really solid women on this list I admire. The local CBS affiliate, WCCO, ran a story about the locals on the list on their morning news. I’ve had quite a few folks around town tell me they saw me featured there! You can view the story here.

Thanks to Tom and Cheryl for the recognition and to WCCO for covering it. You can also check out the Top 50 Men of Twitter list for more awesome folks to follow.

Marketing podcasts

My new commute equals more time on the road, which is actually a good thing when I view that as the gift of time. Sometimes I listen to music or make phone calls while driving (it’s still legal in Minnesota). However, I find the best use of my time is listening to podcasts.

Here are two that keep my attention:

The Bean Cast - hosted by Bob Knorpp, a critical-thinker (and funny) marketing pro I first met on twitter some months ago. Each show features a round table of industry pros weighing in on a main topic, that inevitably morphs into other industry-specific topics. Discussions are always relevent and timely, with a slant towards digital and the social space. Humor is a common thread here, along with a healthy dose of marketing realism. Follow Bob on twitter at  @thebeancast.

Brand Fast-Trackers - hosted by Brian Martin, CEO of Brand Connections. Brian features one-on-one interviews with C-level executives (CEOs/CMOs) on brands. He typically tackles the interview like a case study, asking questions about a brand’s evolution – typically a before/after rebrand for a company. I particularly enjoy hearing from corporate brands in these podcasts, as typically these conversations are dominated by agency folks. Podcasts average 30 minutes, which is perfect for my commute. Follow on twitter at @brandconnection.

Give these a listen and let me know if they stick. Which marketing podcasts do you recommend?

New blog, new job

Shortly after launching this blog in the beginning of the year, I started a new job. Suddenly, being a dedicated employee, parent AND blogger seemed insurmountable. I may be highly productive, but I’m not Super Woman (no matter how much I try to convince myself). So my original goal to blog regularly in two places has definitely taken a hit. Yet, I’ve decided to keep the blog and do what I can, when I can. Let me tell you about the new job.

I’ve stayed within the same organization, but in a different role at a different location. For the previous three years I was managing the daily marketing and communications needs for one of our hospitals in the Twin Cities. It was a great position and I was happy to be there. However, I was asked to move to the system office to manage marketing and advertising from a system perspective, with an eye on the organization as a whole.

Ironically, I moved from a big office to a tiny cubicle. And from a 12 minute to a 45 minute commute. Yet it was a solid career move for me. I am enjoying the challenge of new work, and am thrilled to be able to focus on the parts of my career I most enjoy: strategy, branding and advertising.

Thanks to those of you who still check in here from time to time. Looking forward to connecting with you again in this space.

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