The Coffey Blog

Highlights from the 2016 Healthcare Internet Conference

Posted on: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Coffey Team has been in Las Vegas for several days attending the 20th annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC). Here are a few of the sessions we found most useful at this year's conference.

"Let's Get Social: How to Convince the C-Suite to Open Social Media Access to Employees"

Andrea Joliet, Director, Corporate Communications at Akron Children's Hospital

Andrea presented a case study about how Akron Children's Hospital empowered employees to share important marketing messages through social media. She wanted employees to have access to social media to act as brand ambassadors. But before this untapped internal resource could be put to its full potential, the hospital needed buy-in from key stakeholders. Andrea used this task list to gather support for this organizational change:

  1. Partner with Human Resources (HR). Social recruiting is a successful way to attract top talent. Andrea gave HR the data to back up this claim.
  2. Get buy-in from other key areas. Create a shared vision for other departments. Work with clinical leadership, the IT department, and any compliance and HIPAA officers who would be affected by a new social media policy.
  3. Get approval from senior leadership. Share data about how a new approach to social media will benefit the organization. Show senior leadership the pathway to positive new perceptions in the community.

Once you have buy-in, Andrea recommends acting quickly to make needed changes so employees can be another voice for your brand. Use training sessions, an intranet, an e-newsletter and other internal communications to make the shift.

"Everything has Changed and Nothing Is Different"

Scott Stratten, President at UnMarketing

Scott gave one of the best keynote presentations at HCIC in 2014. His encore presentation this year, was another conference favorite as he talked about the Age of Disruption.

We laughed at Scott's comedic quips and gleaned some helpful information from him:

  • The millennial myth. A younger generation may create new challenges for business but not in all the ways being predicted. Millennials are not just another age bracket. Learn about who they are before lumping them all into a single category.
  • Social media snake oil. The best success for companies online is to behave authentically at every level of an organization. Social media interactions shouldn't be lip service. To be truly effective, social media needs to be the best of your brand in action.
  • The digital decision. More than ever, successful marketing means matching the content of your message with the context of the communication channels where your audience consumes healthcare information.

Scott also reminded healthcare marketers to create trust and connection consistently with consumers. A marketing strategy based on an organization's true purpose wins every time.

"An Integrated Digital Communications Strategy to Advancing a Key Hospital Clinical Priority"

David A. Feinberg, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital
Harry Sherman, Corporate Director, Strategic Marketing at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital
Takla Boujaoude, Director of Public Affairs at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital

The marketing and public affairs team at NewYork–Presbyterian wanted to use their integrated digital communications strategy to advance their key priority—cancer care.

The organization identified immunotherapy as a unique way to stand out in a noisy marketplace. Yet, they found that most healthcare consumers didn't fully understand what immunotherapy is.

NewYork–Presbyterian set out to better educate their community about the science behind their innovative immunotherapy treatments. Together with vendor partners, they used visual metaphors, empathy and emotions to tell true, compelling patient stories.

These messages were then adapted for a variety of communication channels, including a microsite, social media, banner and search ads, print, and others. This cross-channel strategy achieved the organization's primary goal and earned NewYork–Presbyterian many accolades—including a large amount of earned media, awards and better-than-industry-average digital metrics.

Our top HCIC takeaway

No matter what you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy, you can improve your organization and community by:

  • Creating a shared vision.
  • Getting buy-in from key stakeholders.
  • Not compromising the authenticity of your brand.
  • Educating and inspiring your community through the use of good data, empathy and simple language—not jargon. Just tell compelling true stories.

How can you put these points into practice? Need some help? Call us at 888.805.9101. We'd love to offer you new ideas and sound strategy for your next project.