After more than 24 years of working with rural hospitals, I’ve learned that lack of external communication becomes a driving force of out-migration. While the reasons of out-migration may vary from one hospital to another, opening up communication with the community will help resolve many of the simple challenges your facility faces.
Out-migration almost always starts with the idea that bigger is better. That is, a hospital in a nearby metropolitan area is better equipped with the staff and technology to handle their medical needs.
While this sounds bad, educating your community and increasing marketing communication activities can make a significant difference in curbing negative perceptions of your hospital.
Most communities that I’ve worked with, the majority of patients’ medical needs can easily be accommodated at the local level. Despite this fact, rural hospitals typically fail at conveying this message appropriately.
With a purposeful, integrated approach, you can build a strong case of goodwill and awareness in your community. Most importantly, you can not only recapture, but increase your facility’s market share.
It is imperative that rural hospitals raise awareness by educating the local residents about the capabilities and services of your hospital. Doing so will also deliver measurable and tangible results if you have the right measurements in place.
To begin, you must find an innovative and creative way to develop a message that will resonate with the community.
With 34 years of marketing experience, I must say that this where I can assist.
As I always say, “Exposure=awareness=sales.” In small and rural communities, positive word-of-mouth can travel quickly and have a tremendous impact. It is possible to brand your facility in the eyes of potential patients as not only the closest, but as the best option to serve their immediate medical needs.
If you’re ready for a free consultation to learn how a professional marketing communications strategy can benefit your facility, then I invite you to call me at 214-528-5775. I can explain how an improved internal and external communications program can help your facility increase all three components of exposure, awareness, and sales.