The Coffey Blog

Setting goals for your healthcare magazine or newsletter

Posted on: Monday, August 3, 2015

Dana Evans, Account Executive

Why set goals? Simply put, because purpose controls progress!

If you want a successful hospital or health plan magazine or newsletter, you need goals to help separate what's important from what's not. Goals are not limitations. They're reminders of what you want to achieve and where you want your publication to go. 

What should your healthcare magazine goals be?

So, where to start? You know setting goals is important. But when you're managing daily deadlines and commitments, even for the most productive marketers it can be a bit intimidating to also consider an overarching content marketing strategy. Here are some tips and reminders to help navigate the publication goal-setting process:

1. Start with the end in mind. If you don't know what you want to achieve, you can't put steps in place to get there. Do you want to attract new patients? Increase usage of a specific hospital service line, specialty clinic or preventive service? Build rapport with your members? Stand out as the choice for quality care in your region? Improve certain health problems in your community or membership, such as rates of diabetes or obesity?

2. Research and reach out. You may have the information you need to set good goals. But in some cases, fact-finding and learning more could be your 1st and best strategic goal. Are there new things to learn about your marketplace or target audience? Do you know where you stand currently in engagement and readership? Maybe it's time for a consumer survey, which could help guide short- and long-term decisions. 

And schedule time to talk with stakeholders in your organization—from the CEO to the Chair of Surgery to the Director of Health Education. Get their input and feedback, and once you have goals, their buy-in too. 

Pro tip: Have your list of goals? Take time to prioritize them. Focusing on those that are most crucial can help you channel your efforts more effectively.

3. Think specific and measurable. Goals help you measure progress. If the goal isn't specific and measurable, how will you know if you're moving in the right direction?  

Here's a trick to making a goal specific and measureable: Embrace the word by. It can help take you from a lofty or vague goal to one that's rock-solid—specific, measurable and even strategic. Check out the power of that one little word:

  • Original goal: Increase the use of our interventional cardiology services.
  • Add an amount: Increase the use of our interventional cardiology services by 20 percent.
  • Add a time frame: Increase the use of our interventional cardiology services by 20 percent by January 2017.
  • Bonus points—add action steps: Increase the use of our interventional cardiology services by 20 percent by January 2017 by creating compelling patient success stories and strong calls to action.

4. Do a reality check. You're reading this blog post because you're an invested hospital or health plan marketer. You care about helping your organization meet its business and content marketing goals. But you also want to set reasonable, achievable goals that set you on a course for success.

You might start by determining this: What's a good 1st benchmark? And once you meet that, you'll have that great thing known as momentum—and you can aim even higher.

5. Last, but certainly not least: Remember it's about readers. The primary goal for any healthcare publication should be to engage readers. Don't get so focused on your marketing initiatives that you lose sight of what people are truly interested in. Create an editorial plan that offers them value and variety.

Talk with experts in custom publishing

Need help setting goals for your hospital or health plan magazine or newsletter? Or want to learn more about reader surveys? Coffey specializes in healthcare content creation and strategy. Check out our work to see examples of how we've helped clients engage readers and promote their brands—in print and online. To learn more about how we can help you, call 888.805.9101 or email us.

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