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Fresh and timely updates help keep donors engaged

Southeast Georgia Health System (SGHS) launched a $140 million construction project at its Brunswick Campus in 2018. The effort became known as the Brunswick Campus Master Renovation and Expansion Project. The Health System's Foundation set a fundraising goal of $8 million (called the 20-20 Vision Campaign) to support the project.

In the years that followed, SGHS published updates about the construction project and calls to support the fundraising campaign in most issues of its Coffey-produced publication, Healthy Partners. The 16-page magazine includes a mix of custom content written by Coffey and locally produced content.

Healthy Partners reaches 40,000 households. It's the Health System's most reliable way of communicating with the community, says Laura Young, director of marketing and public relations for SGHS. That's because the Health System serves a large area of six counties, much of which is rural and has limited media coverage.

Young used her publication to help keep the public up to speed on the project—especially when progress was not visible to them. (Much of the work took place inside existing buildings.)

Steady and interesting coverage

To make readers aware of the progress of the 20-20 Vision Campaign, Healthy Partners included a regular and interesting mix of content.

For example:

  • Infographics helped tell the story of the campaign by the numbers.
  • Traditional articles provided updates and included quotes from hospital leaders.
  • Letters from the president and CEO often teased to the construction updates found inside the issue.

"Since our magazine only publishes three times a year, there was ample time to prepare creative layouts, such as timelines," Young says.

The campaign surpassed its $8 million goal last year. Young believes the steady presence of Healthy Partners updates contributed to this success.

"The stories certainly helped to continue the campaign's momentum and create new awareness," she says.

Young and the Health System's Foundation team also used other channels to promote the fundraising efforts and construction progress. Among them:

  • Direct mail.
  • Elegant Island Living (a monthly coastal lifestyle publication).
  • Targeted efforts to reach major donors.
  • Community civic club presentations.
  • Website and social media.

A healthy partnership

COVID-19 forced some delays in the expansion and renovation project. But the final phase (renovation of two inpatient floors) should wrap up in spring 2023.

Young says she is pleased with the role that Healthy Partners played in helping to keep her readers informed about a project that is vital for the community.

"Our Coffey team did an excellent job—from the initial planning phone call and interviews to producing interesting articles and attention-grabbing pages," Young says. "Even through our rigorous internal approval process and delayed deadlines due to COVID-19, the Coffey team was always supportive, available and eager to assist with whatever issues came up."

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