Employee involvement, public perception surveys makes for smooth rebrand
In 2014, one of our larger hospital clients was outgrowing its name and quickly becoming a large healthcare system, not just a hospital. The marketing department was small—four when they really needed eight. They were much more than the name of their hospital, and their public image needed a boost. They contacted us for help.
To pinpoint our next move, we performed a public perception survey to gain insight on the hospital’s reputation, strengths and weaknesses and we built our findings into a robust summary document, which included the recommendation to add a system name and a new visual identity.
We guided the hospital, its board and the public through the rebrand. During the rebrand, we gave a presentation on the benefits of the change to over 75 department managers and provided talking points and common language for staff to use to explain the rebrand to their staff and patients.
During the presentation, everyone was given several plastic balls. First, they were asked to throw their balls into 3 small buckets at the front of the room, illustrating division. Then they had a chance to re-throw the balls into a large, all-for-one and one-for-all community bucket—signifying unity amongst the different departments and service lines. Of course, they had more success filling the larger bucket as a team. This activity gave us the platform to remind departments that they no longer could produce their own marketing materials, logos, t-shirts, etc., as they thought they had the license to do so in the past.
To help measure the effect of the overall branding efforts, we repeated the public perception survey one year later and witnessed a remarkable increase of up to 20% in public satisfaction across the board. Two years later, we repeated the survey again and the positive change we saw before remained relatively steady.
Today, we remain an extension of their marketing team, guiding their visual identity, delivering on marketing needs and tackling rep management challenges. The health system’s reputation continues to improve as it continues to make quality its number one commitment.
Time for a New Look
One of our hospitals had the same logo and look & feel since the early 80s, but their organization and facility had been growing and improving. Leaders were hesitant to make a change for fear the public or employees of this small town wouldn’t like it or see it as necessary. However, the fear needed to be balanced with the realities of increased competition and a more savvy consumer base.
We helped them succeed by including employees in planning the public open house that unveiled the new look, and by holding a pre-event for employees—with special gifts bearing the new logo—before the public open house began. We also pulled in the hospital’s volunteers and got them on board as community ambassadors for the name change—by engaging them in fun event tasks and party planning.
At the employee event, we included a FAQ on why the new look was needed, how it better reflected who they were today, and how it was paid for out of the general budget. We also included a talking points sheet for employees to use with the public to explain the change. This meant the message would be consistent.
The public event was very well attended and their positive experience viewing new areas of the hospital and clinic, engaging with staff, enjoying food, etc., created a community buzz.
By being upfront about the need for the change and softening the blow by including employees in the process, the transition was not only smooth, but fun. Giving out teddy bears to the first 100 kids who came, and t-shirts to the staff didn’t hurt, either.
Videos pave the way
One of our valued clients is located in an area where the economy is down. With many people out of work, it seemed a bad time for the hospital to spend money on renovations, but they were sorely needed. The patient care rooms had not been updated for 30 years and were small, outdated and ill-equipped.
At the same time, hospital leaders were receiving feedback from surveys that the hospital spent money unnecessarily, and the local media was enjoying the negative spin to the story.
To try and shift that reputation, and to bring home the need for the renovations, the hospital included patients and employees in the design of the new rooms—a smart move on their part. Not only did they get staff buy in, but they ended up with a more workable design.
We proposed creating videos to highlight this involvement to run on their website, at events, and also as clips on social media sites. The videos show employees and patients explaining the need for the new rooms from several vital points of view—including staff efficiency, safety, patient comfort and lastly, aesthetics. Doing so created buy in for the project.
By showing the human side of the project—hearing friends and neighbors tell how the renovations improved care and comfort for patients—the public could relate and see that the hospital wasn’t spending money frivolously but rather, making improvements for them, the patients.
Data breach, bettered
One of our Jet clients experienced a data breach, where personal information was released by mistake. In this case, we served as a consultant, reminding our client of our recommended 3 steps: Own it, Apologize for it, and Tell Why it Won’t Happen Again.
We talked through assigning a main point of contact for the media and also setting up a hotline for direct answers if someone felt a victim to the breach.
This savvy client already knew how to write a good press release and because their list of news contact was up-to-date; it was easy to get the message out to the right people. They also had a policy in place to respond to every comment on social media, so that strategy was already in practice and helpful during this particular incident.
In our opinion, having a crisis plan in place is great — but if it’s just three-hole punched and on your shelf, it isn’t much help. Practice is the key and having some things ready to go will help you respond in a timely way. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does our organization have a current press release template?
- Does our organization have an up-to-date media list?
- Does our organization have a social media policy?
- Do we have a consultant we can call on to help us stay calm and make additional suggestions?
- Do we have an ongoing effort to keep appropriate media outlets informed and have we developed personal relationships? (Let’s face it, the spin might be softer in time of crisis if you have that friendly relationship.)
Because the client was proactive and prepared, the event lost steam quickly. Within a week it had become old news and was no longer mentioned.
Good prep for new orthopaedic service line means full schedule from start
Jet’s longtime client, Memorial Regional Health, established a new orthopaedic and total joint center in 2015 to accommodate a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon and related staff. The challenge was a thriving orthopaedic market in a nearby town, and making sure our specially-trained surgeon stood out from the crowd.
Since competition was strong, we started early and used various outlets to get the word out in Craig and surrounding communities. We helped with all aspects from naming the center to creating its website, logos and graphic look to early promotion and ongoing support. We implemented collateral, Facebook boosts, web banners, direct mail campaigns, billboards, lobby banners, storefront window clings—you name it, we’ve used it to promote this new, advanced service.
The Center hit the ground running with a fully booked schedule for the surgeon in the first month and hired more staff by the third month to support the demand. Since then, the Center has added another surgeon and doubled its team. It remains busy today.