When setting up a marketing strategy for your hospital, there are a number of options you can choose that will drive your efforts towards the successful growth and sustainability of your hospital. These options include setting up a strong, helpful social media presence; ensuring a consistent online experience; and reaching out to existing patients to ensure their satisfaction. While these strategies are important, there’s another option you should consider in your hospital marketing strategy: public outreach.
A hospital is a place of refuge and recovery, and establishing a brand that endorses those foundational principles is essential. One valuable but often overlooked method of doing this is giving back to the community. People, especially millennials, value companies that give back to the world around them, and when you include social outreach in your hospital’s marketing, you build trust with your patients, encourage potential patients to come to you for their needs, and ultimately, impact your community for the better.
Becoming Part of a Community
Every community wants to feel taken care of, and turning that feeling into a reality is a vital part of a local hospital’s job. People want to feel comfortable with their healthcare, and making sure that your hospital is plugged into its community is one of the best ways you can make sure it stays a relevant and valuable service for your patient base.
Younger generations, like millennials, are increasingly becoming the largest demographic in the country, and as a result, you will want to align some of your hospital’s beliefs and practices with those of this growing adult demographic. When your hospital makes it a point to give back to the community through social outreach or charitable causes, you show your audience that you care about them, their world, and those around them.
Community outreach can take a number of forms, and ultimately the ways you give back to the community should be shaped by the community itself. Find out what your community values, what their needs are, and then shape an outreach strategy that matches those needs. This can mean placing sponsored messaging on kiosks that dispense hand sanitizing solutions and cart wipes in local supermarkets, pharmacies, and malls, or it can mean spearheading a food pantry in the area. Find out what a community is in need of, and then use the hospital’s marketing resources to help provide for that need.
Doing this will improve your positive brand perception and increase the odds that people in your community will come to you when they’re in need of medical care. By investing in a community, the community will then invest in you. It’s a symbiotic relationship that improves the lives of everyone involved, and your hospital will absolutely benefit from engaging in it.
Building Trust in Your Hospital
When your hospital becomes an active presence in a community, that community will grow to trust and rely on you for their health care needs. By leaning into wellness initiatives like providing free hand sanitizer or sunscreen to proactively show you care, you will be gaining favor and illustrating how it is better to give than receive.
Giving back to the community shows that you rely on and value them just as much as they likely rely on you. The better plugged-in a hospital is to the needs, concerns, and hopes of its patients, the more willing those patients will be to place their trust in that hospital. This is a long term messaging strategy that must be employed year in and year out so the community knows you are truly there for them through thick and thin.
Trust is what keeps any company going, and for a hospital, earning the trust of a community is vital in the survival and sustainability of its mission. When you support and engage in local charities and outreach programs, you prove that you’re not only invested in your community’s well-being but that you want to go above and beyond their expectations in order to best meet their needs. Practices like these are what builds trust, and it is this trust that will be the foundation for a strong and healthy relationship between a hospital and its community.