What does a powerful community connection mean? In the world of marketing and communication it’s a measure of how quick and agile you can be in responding to and communicating with your direct and extended community. Can you post information to your website quickly and easily? Are you using social media outlets to build and enhance loyalty for your organization? Do all of your other marketing materials work together with one another? Do you drive people from your traditional marketing platforms to use your more dynamic locations to connect and communicate with each other?
Phew that’s a lot of questions!
Like it or not, the way people EXPECT you to market and communicate with them is changing.
But this isn’t a bad thing or even a scary thing, it’s an exciting thing! The ways that your hospital can now publish timely information, make quick updates and be on the leading edge of new information and timely updates is amazingly easy to accomplish with the right tools. So what do we mean by the right tools? It can be a mix of many different elements but for my money I would be looking to have AT LEAST the following:
- Website that is easy to update and manage (Open Source Content Management System )
- Facebook Page
- A way to create promotion specific landing pages for printed marketing pieces
It all comes down to information flow and ease of management
So it would seem that my wish list centers around digital marketing methods, and that would be mostly true but I am assuming that you are already engaged in many of the traditional methods of marketing to your community (newspaper ads, yellow pages, posters, brochures, newsletters, etc.) The key is to marry the two medium types together. What I see with hospitals that I have worked with over the years is that there is very little integration between the digital and traditional. This usually because there are no tools or systems in place the empower the staff of the people in charge of that marketing to make those types of timely relevant connections.
Here’s the good news!
You can have this type of integration and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. As technology has evolved, the availability of tools like WordPress, Joomla, Facebook, Twitter, and even image editing programs like GIMP have become available and are FREE. They allow you to do all sorts of things without any real technical ability. Manage your website, post updates, create event notifications, build landing pages, crop and publish your own photos and links….the list goes on.
The key with all of this is finding the right mix of tools and elements for your hospital and then making sure you have the internal (or external) resources to make sure you are maintaining, measuring, tracking and optimizing those programs on a regular basis. Not sure how to get started or where to begin? Give the FirstTracks office a call at 603-924-1978 or fill out our online work request form and we will get back to you with some follow up ideas and strategies for your hospital.