Building Brand Awareness for a Medical Center’s New Service Line
How can a major medical center effectively add a new service line to its roster of services? When Torrance Memorial Medical Center (TMMC), a long-established, well-respected health provider, acquired a home health & hospice agency, integrating it into the existing brand was critical. THO was charged with setting the stage to make sure this merger was seamless and successful.
The Hoyt Organization (THO) was charged with merging and enveloping the home health company that was acquired into the TMMC brand. The goal was to raise awareness of the new Home Healthcare & Hospice services and develop a plan for merging the brand into the parent company’s group of services.
THO developed a PR program focused on two equally important sides that included:
- Implementing an intensive media relations program targeting physicians and the consumer to communicate the availability of the new service
- Developing an integrated marketing plan designed to 1) reach local physicians and 2) provide a process for a smooth re-branding and integration into the parent company’s established brand
This two-pronged campaign involved a direct mail program designed to reach more than 350 physicians who could then become potential referral sources, coupled with significant general media outreach.
Patients and their unique situations became case histories for the human-interest stories. TMHH&H executives and medical staff personnel by-lined numerous articles in health-related journals, which were used as reprints for the physician referral program.
During the first year alone, more than three million impressions were generated, not including digital and broadcast coverage. The direct mail campaign generated a great deal of buzz for patient referrals and Third party endorsements like, “I’ve heard about your program,” added to the tremendous outpouring of responses. Referral sources increased overall and continue to do so.
Today, the TMMC Home Health & Hospice program is fully integrated, not only into the Center’s offering of services, but the community itself. With various “give-back” fundraising events involving local patients and families, along with full support and care through difficult times, TMHH&H has solidified itself as an integral part of the community.
When looking to expand, brand and/or create awareness for a company or new division due to company growth, especially in an industry like the medical field where sensitivity and trust are paramount, involve the surrounding community where possible. Provide a personal touch, whether in the marketing outreach, or the actual facilities itself, and let potential key persons and partners in on the forward-thinking progression and growth of the company. Organic market saturation and awareness will continue to build.