Start telling your story early, and share lots of information as construction proceeds
Launching a new initiative such as a new hospital facility or clinic requires a proactive communications approach in order to make the initiative a success from day one. Here are some suggestions for how to communicate to all your audiences over the lifetime of the project, from the initial planning stages through to your opening events.
Create a “home base” website for all the information about the new project. Generally, this consists of a landing page or microsite with statistics about the project, photos, architectural renderings, services offered, updates, and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. This information base can tie in with your existing tools, for example by being a separate section on the hospital's website.
Post construction photos regularly - every two to three weeks at first and then weekly as the project nears completion. Seeing the project unfold in real time gets people involved in the process and excited about the completion of each phase. It's also a great way to increase your followers across platforms.
Benefit from employee engagement
A new or significantly improved facility generally means a beautiful, refreshed space for employees. If staff have had input into the design process and are proud of their contributions, keep this energy alive by sharing your updates and photos with them.
Spotlight the new facility to recruit staff
Turn the opening of your new facility into a recruitment opportunity by showing off spaces designed specifically for staff or upgrades that help caregivers do their jobs more efficiently. This can also be an understated way to promote your hospital values, show your commitment to staff wellness and underscore your dedication to patient safety.
Offer a virtual tour behind the scenes
Giving the public a peek into rooms that are not normally accessible makes them feel special - part of the hospital family. It's also a fun way to showcase hidden departments like the laundry or kitchen and explain the important services the employees in these areas provide.
Invite one of the key clinicians to give a virtual tour of the new branch or/and one of the rooms and have him or her explain the technology - which he or she has probably selected - and its clinical value. Explain how it will help patients, and save lives. Follow that with photos or short videos in which nurses and other staff members demonstrate features integrated into the new space. Remember, authentic information from trusted sources makes a big impression on millennials (who are today between the ages of 26 and 41).
Choose your unique selling point
You need to be able to attract the attention of your target group. To do this you need a unique angle, a 'hook', that appeals to them. Emphasizing one or two unique features of the facility can take your message a step further. What should you emphasize? The parts of the project that most affect the patient experience? Is there convenient and free parking? What support services, such as lab, x-ray and outpatient pharmacy are available? Why go to the clinic and not the main hospital? In short, try to answer the question of ‘what's in it for them?’
Plan sneak preview events
Consider offering a few events prior to the grand opening for a select group of VIPs to create a buzz and get people talking. Invitees should be brand ambassadors who are willing to share all the scoops with their friends and followers. To maximize your social capital, put people from the following three groups on the invite list:
An easy way to make employees feel valued is to give them the first look at the new facility. Designate a handful of times (spread across multiple shifts) over a two-day period for staff members to take a tour. Create banners, posters and product guides that highlight new technologies and innovations.
- FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Organize a family day where hospital and health system leaders, board members, and key stakeholders who worked on the project can celebrate the completion. Also invite the contractors, designers and architects. Have them show off the new space and point out all the things they helped create or support.
Local and regional news outlets will be eager to get inside the new facility and see what the fuss is all about. Make time for them to show off the space, as well as listen to experts, see some technical demonstrations, and understand how much of a positive impact your project will have on the community.
Use SEO to promote the facility’s opening date
You've built a state-of-the-art facility or clinic with the latest technology, but when will it open? This small detail is one of the most important pieces of information to share, because what good is a healthcare facility without patients from day one?
This is where your SEO strategy comes into play. We know that Google ranks pages based on user intent and how well your website answers the search, so make sure to strategically weave answers to the most likely questions into posts and content. "When is the clinic open?" "Where is the clinic located?" "Does the facility have first aid?" Solid execution of a digital plan is crucial to ensuring that the people who need the new facility can find it.
We’d be happy to support you to launch a new hospital facility or clinic, maximizing the communications value across your audiences. Contact Anne-Mie, by email at email@example.com, or call at +32 (0)55 59 10 01.