Other than basic functions of marketing communications, what has your hospital been doing to increase awareness within the community? If you have to think too long about it, then chances are you are might not be taking advantage of many opportunities available around you.
Think about it this way: if the people in your community look to you for healthcare advice and resources when they are well, then chances are they will turn to you when they are sick. How do you achieve this? Through education, wellness programs and events, community participation, and commitment from the entire leadership team.
If you do not already have an active (keyword) community outreach program in place, then now is the time to change that. With competition starting to heat up in many communities, every missed opportunity is one gained by your competitors.
So what can you do?
Form a community outreach committee.
Plan ahead on what you want to achieve with your community outreach team. Then, at your next leadership meeting, spread the word about the new committee and ask for volunteers. A community outreach committee is a great way to boost employee morale while spreading the word about upcoming initiatives.
Start with preventive care.
As previously mentioned, if your community turns to you when they are well, they will turn to you when they are sick. Gain their trust by organizing free (or low-cost) screenings and clinics, wellness programs, and educational seminars.
These events do not have to be elaborate. Just enough to be helpful and add value to the attendees. The littlest gestures will go a long way, especially in a small community.
Participate in community events.
Many communities have events year-round that make great opportunities for your hospital to increase exposure. For example, health fairs and parades are easy to join in. Of course, with a health fair, you will want to have a prominent presence to serve as the cornerstone of healthcare services in your area.
When it comes to business networking, this should not only be reserved for doctors and CEOs. It is important to encourage other members of your leadership team to actively participate in local chamber of commerce events, Lion’s and Rotary Clubs, and any other applicable organizations in your service area.
Your hospital’s community outreach should be more than a committee. It should be a commitment to not only your community, but for extending brand awareness and developing critical relationships with stakeholders.