At the end of each year, I pause and take stock of the year that just passed. The years pass so quickly and have a tendency to blend together. My feeling has always been that there needs to be some punctuation between the years – a comma, at the very least. This post is my brief review of a few of the highlights of 2018.
I’m at the point in my career where showcasing the work of talented colleagues is more satisfying than simply showcasing my own work. In 2018, I had a number of opportunities to do just that.
- In 2018, Judy Neiman and her team at the Forum for Healthcare Strategists gave me the opportunity to develop a panel for the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit that would profile the use of digital communications in response to a crisis. The panelists I recruited were Crista Latham of MD Anderson Cancer Center and Scott Kerbs of University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Each told their story (Hurricane Harvey and the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas) and then we took 35 minutes of questions from the audience. It was an incredibly powerful experience to be in the room and hear Crista and Scott share their experiences.
- On two occasions I had the opportunity to present with Cristal Woodley of Renown Health. Cristal and I shared the story of Renown’s highly successful Thought Leadership Content Marketing Program. It was such a pleasure to present with Cristal, an emerging star in the realm of digital marketing. We presented at the 2018 Health Information Technology Marketing and PR Conference and the 2018 Conference of the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society.
- Finally, at the 2018 SHSMD conference, I presented with two of my colleagues from Signature Healthcare – Kim Hollon, CEO, and Lorraine McGrath, Marketing Director. We shared Signature’s remarkable story of culture change and transformation. Over the last three years, Signature Healthcare has developed a true culture of safety where patient safety is the organization’s number one priority. The results have been phenomenal.
One of the activities I find most rewarding is my role as a volunteer for a number of industry associations. Not only is it important to give back to these organizations, but I find there are incredible opportunities for professional growth that accompany these activities.
- For a number of years, I have served on SHSMD’s Digital Engagement Taskforce. In 2018, I was named co-chair of the taskforce. I am so proud of all that we accomplished. What stands out to me the most is the social media brand advocates program we launched to support the 2018 SHSMD Conference. The brand advocates had a significant impact on social media engagement and activity levels prior to and during the conference. I can’t wait to see what we can do with the program in 2019.
- In 2018, I served the second year of my term as the treasurer for the New England Society of Healthcare Communications (NESHCo). I’ve served on the NESHCo Board for a number of years and have thoroughly enjoyed my affiliation with the organization. After two years as the treasurer, I have moved to the vice president role, and do so knowing that I am leaving the organization’s finances in good shape. During my tenure, we were very focused on living within our means while growing revenue opportunities through sponsorships, membership dues, and events.
- Finally, in December I was elected to the board of the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS). I’ve been a member of CHPRMS and Jennings has sponsored CHPRMS conferences for ages. I look forward to serving on the board and giving back to an organization that has given so much to me over the years.
In 2018, a number of articles in industry publications featured our clients’ marketing programs. Those included the following:
- “The Three R’s of Using Internal Advertising to Create a Cultural Change in a Health Care Organization: Repetition, Refreshment, and Recognition,” Strategic Health Care Marketing, December 6, 2018. This article featured Signature Healthcare’s Culture of Safety Initiative.
- “Renown Working Hard to be Renown,” Healthcare Marketing Report, October 2018. This article featured Renown Health’s Thought Leadership Content Marketing Initiative.
- “How Data Helped a Multifaceted Specialty System Strengthen Its Brand Identity Both Internally and Externally,” Strategic Health Care Marketing, April 2018. This article told the story of Spectrum Healthcare Partners’ rebranding initiative.
- “Emerson Hospital Markets the Best of Both Worlds,” Healthcare Marketing Report, Vol. 36, No. 3, March 2018. This article featured Emerson Hospital’s orthopedics campaign.
- “Lowell General’s 125th Anniversary Campaign,” Marketing Healthcare Today, Volume 16, Issue 1, 2018.
Producing Award-Winning Work
In 2018, the team at Spectrum Healthcare Partners in Portland, Maine, won a total of 31 awards for their new brand campaign. I cannot think of a marketing team that is more deserving of the recognition. This is essentially a three-person marketing team that does the work of a 10-person team. Simply put, they have grit! And they hold themselves to an extremely high standard. Those qualities make it even more rewarding to work with them. Keep an eye on this team. They are going to do great things in the future. Below is an infographic that tells the story of my team’s award-winning performance in 2018.
Another highlight in 2018 was winning Best of Show in the annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, produced by Healthcare Marketing Report. My firm’s clients also won 47 awards in the annual Lamplighter Awards Competition sponsored by the New England Society for Healthcare Communications.
On a Personal Level
- I took pride in spreading the word about the #pinksocks movement within the healthcare industry. I shared the #pinksocks story with attendees of numerous conferences including #HMPS18, #SHSMD18, #HCIC18, #CHPRMS18, #NESHCO18, and #HITMC18. Within the #pinksocks movement, we recognize that in healthcare we have allowed technology to get in our way instead of using it to help us do the things that we all desire: to connect with each other at a human level, to share in each other’s stories with compassion and empathy, and to work together as one. We model that compassion and empathy through acts of kindness and gifting. For those of you not familiar with this movement, an incredible community has developed around this concept within healthcare IT and marketing. Simply follow the #pinksocks hashtag on Twitter to learn more.
- I was honored to serve on the judging panel for the 2018 Wego Health Award. The Wego Health Award recognize and champion the work of patient advocates, influencers and experts helping others and transforming healthcare. I also served on the judging panels for the Digital Health Awards and the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Maggie Awards.
- The New England Society for Healthcare Communications honored me with their lifetime achievement award – The Evans Houghton Award. This honor came from people and an organization that I care deeply about which made it incredibly meaningful.
That’s my recap of 2018. Now it’s time to move on to 2019.