The Coffey Blog

Hospital website redesigns: Involve stakeholders early in content creation

Posted on: Monday, October 17, 2016

Jean Dion, Content Writer/Editor

Service line pages take center stage when you're in the content creation phase of a hospital website redesign. Getting this content right is vital—both for healthcare consumers and for your internal stakeholders.

Here's a tip: Tapping those stakeholders at the right time—and guiding them in the right way—could ensure that your project runs efficiently.

Send invitations early in the redesign process

Including stakeholders at the outset of your website redesign could help you reap big benefits, including:

  • Roadblock removal. Stakeholders who are engaged—who feel personally tied to the success of a project—may be more likely to help that project to succeed. Early adopters can become your project evangelists who will do what it takes to keep it moving forward.
  • Broadened workforce. Strategizing, assigning, writing, editing and approving content can be a little time-consuming, especially when you're tucking these tasks into days already packed with other marketing duties. Adding stakeholders to your team might give you more hands to do the work when your time is tight.
  • Ease of information gathering. How much do you really know about the innovations happening in your hospital? Your service line experts know a lot, and if you include them early, they can share that key data with you quickly and efficiently. That could make your content planning a snap.

5 ways to guide your hospital website team

Once you've decided to reach out to your stakeholders, you'll need to follow best practices to ensure that the help you get is truly helpful. These are our top five recommendations:

1. Choose the right team. Think hard about who should enter your project's inner circle. Should the service line marketing lead be involved? What about the department head? What about the medical director? Remember: You're looking for ways to include people with a stake in your project's success. It's better to have a long list than to skip someone whose important feedback will hold the project up later.

2. Define roles at the outset. What do you want your stakeholders to do during the writing process? Should they attend meetings with your vendors? Talk with writers? Think about when you will need their help and feedback, and explain what you want them to do step-by-step.

3. Share your schedule. Do more than define key deadlines. Explain the moments at which your project is in its conceptual stages and when it's reached a fairly solid point at which changes in direction could be costly. That could help to ensure you get the right feedback at the right time.

4. Communicate clearly and often. Use email to highlight to-do lists and questions, but never underestimate the value of meetings. Pulling all of your stakeholders into one real-time conversation could help to ensure that all of you have a clear understanding of goals and next steps.

5. Get outside help when you need it. When you have so many voices in one vital conversation, disagreements are bound to come up. Using an unbiased third party, such as a vendor with demonstrated expertise in creating healthcare website content (we have a recommendation), could help you to break through roadblocks so all of you can move the project forward.

Related reading

How to write great service line page content for your hospital website
How to choose a company to build your hospital's website
6 reasons to outsource healthcare marketing projects