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As health care marketers, here's a question worth considering: Are you sending your print messages out into your community often enough? At Coffey, we typically recommend at least a quarterly publication schedule to our partners. But depending on your marketing goals, even that may not be often enough.

Define your purpose for print

Marketing departments should consider several things when deciding how often to distribute their print messages. One of those things is the purpose of their publication.

For example, maybe you use the publication to change a community's perception of your service reputation. Or perhaps your C-suite has agreed to enter the market with a new publication for the first time.

In either instance, you will want your brand to stay top-of-mind within your community, which means you should distribute your mailings frequently. If you send your publication infrequently, it is less likely that your audience will remember you. They won't see your publication often enough to establish brand recall.

When your publication arrives in mailboxes on a regular basis, consumers will more likely link it to your hospital. It takes a number of touches to be able to do that. If you're only mailing a publication twice a year—that's six touches in the course of three years—you're probably not going to build a lot of brand recall.

At a minimum, we recommend quarterly distribution when your intention is to build your brand. But to really make a splash, you might send out a publication six times a year, or every other month.

Other reasons to consider more frequent mailings:

  • A competing hospital in your market distributes a consumer publication more often than you do.
  • You're introducing and supporting a time-sensitive capital project. Frequent mailings create more opportunities to receive donations from your community. You can never know what frame of mind a health care consumer is in when your message arrives. The more often they receive your mailing, the better the chances that the timing is right for a buy-in.
  • More frequent mailings make it easier to accommodate other time-sensitive content, such as classes and events.

Make a plan that works for you

Remember: If you're thinking about more frequent mailings, a good first step is to take a look at your overall strategy. What is the desired outcome from your publication? Once you know that, then you can consider your resources and budget capacity to see what makes sense for you.